It seems like Zimbabweans cannot quite catch a break. Of late resilient Zimbabweans who seem to be geniuses at finding alternative ways of coping, have been floored by the recent hike in the price of electricity.
The new stepped charges which punish consumers for using more power mean that if a household uses more than 200 kWh they will purchase the additional units at a whopping $3.89 per kWh. This means that $100 will get you just over 25 units.
The stepped tariffs work as follows:
- First 50 units @ $0.41/kWh: $0.41 x 50 = $20.50
- Next 150 units @ $0.91/kWh: $0.91 x 150 = $136.50
- First 200 units will cost $20.5 + $136.5 = $157.00
Anything over and above 200 units gets charged at $3.89/unit. This means that if your household uses 400 units per month your total costs will be $978.00 per month broken down as below:
$20.50 for Units 1- 50 ( 50 x $0.41)
$136.50 for Units (51-200) (200 x $0.91)
$778.00 for Unites (201-400) (200 x $3.89)
To put this into perspective, one frustrated user on social media shared how he purchased 566.1 units of electricity for $60 before the power hike. However, to buy the same number of units he now requires an eye-popping $1668.
To make matters worse, the way the charges have been structured mean that they punish poor families and those families which share the same house. In most high-density areas in Zimbabwe, a single house may be shared by four tenants or more which means they do not get the benefit of the cheaper prices for units less than 200.
Below is how some Zimbabweans are reacting to the increase.
I’m traumatised beyond measure,
The 48 units of power I bought on Tuesday,
At a whopping $200,
Just ran out.
What’s your ZESA situation like guys?
How are you managing?
Y’all seem unbothered.
Could this be a unique problem🤔
Targeted sanctions against me maybe?😲🙆#ZanuMustGo!
— Thandekile Moyo (@Mamoxn) October 25, 2019
ZESA Tariffs are criminal and heartless. They appear to be more than the rentals of those who rent. How will families survive, the vulnerable. God have mercy
— Pedzisai Ruhanya (@PedzisaiRuhanya) October 30, 2019
Electricity is actually quite expensive….
— Happi Zengeni (@happ_zenge) October 30, 2019
I got my mum zesa yesterday, I said let me go all out so i hussle for 300 only to get 73 units 😭😭😭. I am failing to can.
— Mai Naniso (@misskache) October 30, 2019
#Zesa diaries cont… Am now panicky after having been reminded of the killer tariffs. But Zesa so how did you come to these staggered charges? Honestly a normal household uses more than 15units a day now it looks like its cheaper if I use 200 units per month but thats too low.😒
— Brenda Dube (@boldcolours) October 29, 2019
#Zesa diaries cont… Luckily, I still had lots of credit in my meter to last me another 3 months. So now I tell myself let me enjoy myself until the remaining units go down to Zero, zero. Hopefully by then Zesa will reduce the tariffs. Will pray for a miracle. Just hoping. 😌
— Brenda Dube (@boldcolours) October 29, 2019
Hi Mr Gwasira @GwasiraFullard
Most high density homes don’t have prepaid meters due to corruption related issues pertaining to their unfair distribution. How are you going to apply their metering system since you’ve introduced a 200kvh cap? @fortunechasi @ZetdcOfficial
— SaveZimbabwe🇿🇼 (@Save_Our_Zim) October 29, 2019
@fortunechasi Hon Minister you are now skinning us alive. Takuzviona. The new Zesa tariffs are beyond many against the incomes of many. the gap is too much. just pay a visit muma banking hall eZesa munzwe pain ine vanhu. i need 400 units per month wc costs $895. its unreasonable
— Edwell Diza (@ednagmro) October 29, 2019
It feels like they are always exploring further ways of making us (povo) suffer.
— Mrs Peetah Morgan (@jessiedendere) October 30, 2019
” quite expensive” will be an understatement.
It’s hugely expensive. If we can use such a word.
My waste fear is when Industry finally comes to grasp with the new tariffs the cost implications on prices will be catastrophic
— Zvenyika (@Zvenyika8) October 30, 2019
As for ZESA they got us by the wrong organs. The tariff is punishing the urban population.
— Tony! (@NguClayton_) October 30, 2019
Cost of data and power in Zim will silence a lot of local zwitters it might end up being a Zim diaspora platform.
— Dakarai Mapuranga (@DakaraiMap) October 29, 2019
Zimbos once celebrated @fortunechasi what a robbery that requires peaceful protests on Zesa @ZetdcOfficial tariffs. The same amount purchases different units depending on usage. Action is urgently needed to stop this kind of corruption.
— Open Space (@OpenSpaceZW) October 29, 2019
By the time Industry & commerce wake up to the new zesa tariffs with new prices reflecting such.
Even 2008 will be play time.
They way the units are evaporating is shocking. No incomes can match that.
We are in deep trouble.
— Zvenyika (@Zvenyika8) October 29, 2019
I just cannot afford ZESA tariffs ZW$100 for 24Kwh which last one day Apa salary yako iri 1000.Nyika ino yakaoma.Gvt should do something kana muchikwidza zvinhu tarisaiwo mukohwo hwe vanhu.
— baT (@welly_foya) October 26, 2019
@ZetdcOfficial these new tariffs are unsustainable $300ZWL is equivalent to 67 units (rounded up) so I need nothing under $1000-$1200 per month just for Zesa? Before any other utilities? What’s the end game plan here because Wow pic.twitter.com/kGIsW6guyP
— Mrs DoubleYou! (@ZieKaAndrew) October 26, 2019