A rumour has been circulating that ZESA (Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority) would soon be demanding payment for all bills in forex. I’ve heard this from two sources. If true, it would mean that all Zimbabweans would have to settle their electricity bills in forex. OK for those who have access to forex, but not OK for the majorty who have no access to real cash at all.
A friend of mine checked it out, and was told that this was not true. However it is well known that ZESA is on its knees, their experts trained in dealing with huge power lines leaving the country in their droves, so this friend asked one ZESA guy how he was coping.
He told her they were still being paid in Zim dollars but inflation and the cash shortages at the banks meant it was worthless to them. Most would have no choice but to take their skills elsewhere to a country which had real money so they could support their families. ZESA knows this. It also knows that when they lose these skills the light go out in Zimbabwe - in homes, hospitals, industry everywhere.
Their solution? This guy told my friend that his last ‘paycheck’ was in the form of fuel coupons - one hundred litres worth. The fact that a government parastatal recognises the no-value status of the local currency is telling! How far did 100 litres take you, my friend jokingly asked him? It covered one weeks’ worth of the cost of living, leaving the rest of the month a massive struggle. Zim dollars are not good enough, and 100 litres is not enough. Mr Go’no-solutions needs to wake up fast.
Comment: This is all too true! We could not even pay our electricity account yesterday!