By Correspondent

The Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) has threatened to shut down electricity for Masvingo Council over an outstanding ZWL$500 million debt.

Last week council had to send emissaries to negotiate a payment plan with ZETDC.

Council Finance Director Danister Jori led the team which also included the local authority’s legal team.

“Council authorizes it’s legal representatives and officials to negotiate for payment terms with ZETDC.

This is “over the settlement of the electricity debt.

Meanwhile, council said Treasury should “settle government departments’ debts to council ,” according to minutes of the 1043 ordinary council meeting.

Sources at Town Hall said a number of parastals have not paid rates for over 5 years now.

The debt now is reaching the ZWL$1 billion mark.

Recurrent Problem

Earlier this year the local authority had electricity cut off at its Civic Center headquarters over the same debt.

The Town Hall offices spent close to a month without electricity, relying on a standby generator for power.

This time around, ZETDC is threatening to cut power supplies to the city’s main water treatment and distribution plant, Bushmead.

This has prompted management to intervene.

Such a move would plunge the city into an unprecedented water crisis at a time the country is struggling with a cholera outbreak.

Masvingo has no alternative power source at the water works.

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