Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi says there is a need for stakeholders to discuss the tariff charged by ZESA because the current rates were now below market rates.

The proposal by Minister Chasi could see electricity tariffs being hiked threefold.

Minster Chasi said the electricity crisis is everyone’s concern hence there should be collective action between the government and the public to solve the problem.

“It’s a responsibility for everyone, we need to work together to sort this out because if we don’t, we will only shut ourselves down and to try and restart the formula will be difficult.

“ZESA, in spite of the numerous demands and complaints that we make as users of power, are owed $1,2 billion by local consumers.”

“I think the generality of the public owes something between $350 and $400 million, and that includes you and me; that includes people in Zanu-PF and in MDC, so the issue we have at hand doesn’t need us to engage in political banter,” said Minister Chasi.

Chasi also encouraged Zimbabweans to pay for the services rendered by Zesa.

“So the bottom line is when you consume a services you must pay and as a country, we must never allow ourselves to get into this situation (again). This has nothing to do with who you are. We can play games around this issue, but if there is an issue that needs us to be together as a country, it’s power. That’s why it’s called power.”

Minister Chasi said he engaged Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, who indicated that $20 million would be paid to ZESA.

He said while the figure was significant, “it’s still a drop in the ocean”, judging by what was required.

-State Media