20-year Zesco bill claim shocks Ndola tenants
By MUNAMBEZA MUWANEI -
IN its quest to collect outstanding debts from its customers, Zesco Limited is in a historic battle with Maybin Flats tenants in Ndola, demanding payment of security light bills accrued since 1993.
Zesco last month issued a disconnection notice to Maybin Flats tenants demanding for payment of an outstanding balance of K30,019.67.
Some tenants have, however, expressed shock at Zesco’s decision to demand a bill accrued over 20 years ago.
The tenants, who declined to be quoted, wondered why Zesco took this long to resolve the payment of the said bill.
“This is a shock, how does Zesco come to us after 20 years to claim a bill. This is so unfair,” said the tenant.
According to a disconnection notice obtained by the Sunday Times dated July 22, 2013, the records indicate that there was an outstanding balance of K30,019.67 on service number 2024673 under the name of Public Works Department, which was for Maybin Flats.
The notice further states that the tenants had been given 72 hours in which to settle the bill failure to which power would be disconnected.
The Government that initially wanted to clear the debt has distanced itself from the bill, saying it stopped paying electricity bills for the said security lights in 1993.
According to a letter written and signed by the Copperbelt provincial engineer, the Government actually discontinued payments of electricity charges on security lights in 1993.
The letter says the Government sold the property to all sitting tenants from various Government departments at Maybin Flats in 1996.
“It suffices to state that Government had no further interest whatsoever and ceased to have any responsibility thereof in the said property as 100 per cent ownership was transferred to individual tenants and under common lease as a whole,” says the letter.
The Government has since requested Zesco to settle the matter with the tenants through their able committee.