Energy and power development permanent secretary, Partson Mbiriri, has disclosed that government will release Treasury Bills worth $600 million to clear debts owed to Zesa Holdings by local authorities and state enterprises.
Addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on mines and energy, Mbiriri said an agreement has been reached with Treasury, which will see it settling debts owed to the state power utility, the Herald reported.
Media reported that Zesa Holdings through its subsidiary, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, has been battling to recover over $1 billion in unpaid power bills. Read more…
“The bills that were owed by parastatals, local authorities and Sable Chemicals have been converted to Treasury Bills and we think that is a positive for the sector,” he said.
“We recently held a meeting with the treasury and an agreement was reached. It is our belief that this agreement is a welcome development as we seek to ensure the smooth operation of the utility,” Mbiriri stated.
State debts go to court
It is reported that last year Zesa approached the High Court suing around 200 local authorities, state enterprises and private companies. On the list of debtors were at least 40 state and local authorities.
“We are not taking the Treasury Bills to market but we are going to rely solely on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe because once we put them on the market, we are bound to see more discounts being asked for,” Mbiriri said.
Meanwhile, the energy and power development minister, Dr Samuel Undenge, also highlighted that government has committed to repaying debt owed to the South African power utility, Eskom.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe pays Eskom
Last month, Zesa’s chief executive Engineer, Josh Chifamba confirmed that they had a successful meeting with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to secure funding for Eskom’s power import.
It was reported that Eskom had given Zesa up until the end of May to settle its arrears or risk being switched off over being in $43 million debt. Read more…
Featured image: femside.com