The Zambia Electricity and Supply Corporation (ZESCO) says it is owed over K60 billion Kwacha in unpaid electricity bills from people living in former Mine  townships on the Copperbelt.

And the Energy Regulation Body (ERB) has called on the Media to publicise the
challenges and constraints facing the energy sector in the country if the nation is
to benefit from the developments in this sector.

ZESCO Regional Manager for Kitwe Hardley Habeene said the company is facing a lot of
difficulties in collecting funds from former miners and people that are living in
mine townships.

Speaking at a Joint  ERB, ZESCO  Copperbelt Media workshop held at  Kitwe’s
Edinburgh Hotel  today Mr Habeene said in Kitwe alone the company is owed K12
billion, with a monthly turnover of K1 billion.

He added that other mining towns on the Copperbelt like Luanshya, Mufulira and
Chingola also owed the energy company a lot of money brining the total debt to over
K60 billion.

He said the company has taken measures to dismantle the debt,  a development which
has seen the company investing over K2 billion in installing new medium Voltage
lines.

Mr Habeene noted that once the lines are installed, the company would be able to
disconnect defaulting customers unlike the current situation were it has become
impossible to do so.

He also disclosed that his company has embarked on education campaigns aimed at
changing the mindset of the former mines to enable them pay for the services.

He added that it is unfortunate that the former miners could afford to pay for
luxuries such as Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) and Cellular phones whilst they
failed to settle electricity bills.

And Mr. Mukabe said it was important that stakeholders were aware of the challenges
that the energy sector is facing mostly caused by dilapidated infrastructure in many
sectors.

The Workshop has attracted participants from Media Houses on the Copperbelt.

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