By Paidashe Mandivengerei
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has dismissed social media rumours that the utility was stealing electricity units during power outages.
In a statement released today, ZETDC said contrary to the claims-making rounds on WhatsApp, electricity does not flow through the meter during load shedding.
The message circulating on social media platforms suggested that meter readings changed after a power cut.
“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has noted with concern the false, mischievous and misleading messages that are circulating through WhatsApp to the effect that the power utility is “stealing” electricity units from prepaid meters during load shedding and would like to set the record straight as follows:
(i) When there is load shedding, there is no electricity that will be flowing through the customer’s meter. The meter, just like any other electrical appliance, requires electricity for it to turn and there is no way the meter will be able to turn in the absence of power.
(ii) Just like a motor vehicle’s odometer which only turns when a vehicle is in motion, a prepaid electricity meter can only turn when it is powered by electricity, therefore it boggles the mind how and why ZESA would ”steal” electricity units, particularly during load shedding.
(iii) ZETDC has 663 343 prepaid domestic consumers on the national electricity
grid and their interests are well protected by sound business ethics and practices which observe the principles of corporate governance in service provision.
“The Utility does not engage in activities which are to the detriment of its customers, ZETDC advises its customers to disregard these malicious messages with the contempt that they deserve, as they seem to be targeted towards causing alarm and despondency.
“ZETDC assures customers that they should not panic as their purchased units are safe.