Zesa is losing approximately $1.4 billion annually to metre tampering and illegal connections, which is 5% of the power utility’s total revenue.

The power utility has since launched a blitz against illegal electricity connections resulting in the arrest of 45 house owners in Harare South.

Zesa spokesperson George Manyaya said the blitz was not isolated to Harare, but would be spread throughout the country to cut revenue losses bleeding the entity.

“As testimony to our aggressive intentions, only last week our teams invaded the Ushewokunze/Chigwende area in Harare South and discovered that 45 out of the 51 households that were inspected, were irregularly connected and this is almost like a whole suburb,” Manyaya said.

“We have reported all these cases to the law enforcement agents.

“We have reported all these cases to the law enforcement agents.
“Accordingly, we all need to develop a culture of paying for electricity, if we are to be assured of a reliable service from the utility.
“Corrupt activities on staff members as the code of conduct is very clear – such bad apples will simply face dismissal and we will institute criminal measures against any offenders.”

Acting Energy minister Jenfan Muswere added: “I am reliably informed that non-technical losses contribute about 5% of our total revenue, and if we are to use the Zesa 2020 financial results as a point of reference, the loss translates to about $1.4 billion.

“I am sure you agree with me that this must be stopped and we must all declare war against all forms of theft.”
Zesa often blames vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure by thieves for frequent power cuts.

Despite the offence attracting a 10 year jail sentence, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said this was not deterrent enough as his ministry called for the removal of an option of a fine for the alleged perpetrators accompanied with a 30 year sentence.