ZESCO debt haunts Kalingalinga residents

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SANFROSSA MANYIKA writes

@SunZambia

KALINGALINGA compound residents have pleaded with Government to intervene so that they could settle K73,000 ZESCO arrears in instalments.

The marketeers complained that ZESCO had refused to hear them out on the re-payment plan for the bill the market owed the power utility company.

Market Chairperson Adamson Daka told The Sun in an interview that the market owed ZESCO K72,710.55.

“We were owing ZESCO K99,468 before we paid theK26,758 that we put together with other marketeers. The bill was created by our former market chairperson who was is now serving a five year jail sentence for not paying the bills despite him having been receiving contributions for electricity,’’ Mr. Daka said.

He said that since the former chairperson was arrested in October, 2018, the marketeers had been contributing money to try and reduce the bill.

He explained thatthe market has been taking paying K8, 000 for both the balance and monthly bills for the market.

Mr. Daka complained that some marketeers were now complaining and others planning on leaving the trading place because they were being overcharged on their monthly contributions.

“We used to contribute K70 each per month and we are now contributing not less than K100 depending on the type of business one is involved in. Those running restaurants, hair salons and barbershops are charged not less than K150,’’ he added.

He further complained about the way ZESCO treated them when they went to pay their bills every month.

“We are treated like people who do not know what they are doing. We have tried to negotiate with them so that they can be accepting the K8, 000every month but to no avail. They only want us to be paying K10, 000 a month which is impossible for us,’’ he said.

The market chairperson complained that people that contributed towards the purchase of electricity in the market were only 80 stressing that it is impossible to raise K10,000 per month especially at the rate at which business was moving.

ZESCO spokesman Henry Kapata could not be immediately reached for a comment.

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