Nchelenge residents in Luapula Province have expressed displeasure over the billing system by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) in the area.
The residents who registered their complaint during a meeting with ZESCO Luapula Regional Manager, Wilbroad Chanda at Nchelenge High School said that there were a
lot of discrepancies with bills from ZESCO in the area.
One of the residents a Mr. Musanda said apart from experiencing erratic power supply, most payments made by customers were not reflected in subsequent bills.
He said some customers have been paying for electricity for over eight months without the payments reflecting on the bills.
The residents urged the utility company to set up satellite communication in branches such as Nchelenge to stop the trend where bills were prepared from Mansa.
And reacting to concerns by residents, Mr. Chanda explained that the country was currently faced with a shortage of power which had contributed to the erratic electricity supply in Nchelenge..
He said the programme of load shedding was still on going to enable ZESCO carry out repair works on its equipment.
Mr. Chanda explained that Nchelenge’s source of electricity was in Kafue and as such it passed through a lot of areas before reaching the district.
He also said most of the electricity lines were put up in the bush where villagers vandalisedÂ cables hence contributing to the erratic power supply.
Mr. Chanda revealed that plans were underway to set up a Hydro Power Station in Luapula Province to ease electricity problems in the province.
He said the company would soon start rehabilitation works on power lines between Mbereshi and Nchelenge to reduce on faults.
Meanwhile, Nchelenge District Commissioner, Wilson Kasoloko has confirmed the erratic power supply and discrepancies in the billing system.
Mr. Kasoloko called on ZESCO to quickly look into the matter, adding that vital institutions such as health centres and Government offices have been negatively affected.
He said bodies at St. Paul’s mission hospital mortuary were rotting because of low voltage and erratic power supply, forcing mourners to bury their dead within 24 hours.
The DC said this when ZESCO Luapula Province Regional Manager, WilbroadÂ Chanda paid a courtesy call on him at his office.
Mr. Kasoloko said as a result of erratic electricity supply, the District Council was unable to efficiently pump water to its residents.
The residents early this year petitioned ZESCO management over erratic electricity supply and called for the removal of ZESCO Nchelenge branch manager.