THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and the Zimbabwe Power Company are currently embroiled in a dispute over the ownership of the Bulawayo Power Station with the municipality claiming $106 million in unpaid royalties from the power utility.
According to council minutes, BCC is billing ZPC for use of the power station, but the power utility is refusing to pay, saying it has title deeds for the property.
“Council is billing Zesa $860 284 as royalty charges per month. As at 31 March 2019 the royalty bill stood at $106 424 385,” reads the minutes in part.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority recently issued a licence to ZPC for the power station despite objections from residents as well as the local authority.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association co-ordinator, Emmanuel Ndlovu insisted that ZPC should pay the debt and return the power station to BCC.
BCC, however, ironically owes Zesa over $108 million in unpaid electricity bills.
Besides Zesa’s debt, BCC owes various creditors such as National Social Security Authority, Municipal Provident Fund and the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund and TelOne among others, more than $78 million.
In total, BCC’s debt as at March 31 stood at $186 million.
At the time of going to print last night, Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira had not yet responded to questions sent to him.