By Alois Vinga
FAIRVIEW Park residents have challenged exorbitant power connection fees which have been levied on them by the developer in violation within the area.
The developer, it has been said, is demanding payments which are almost four times those legally charged for new housing units to be connected on Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) power lines.
In a five-day ultimatum they issued through their legal representative, Alex Majachani of Alex F & Associates, the residents raised concerns over the connection fees.
“Our clients have advised us that to their wildest shock, your company has demanded ZESA connection fees in sums ranging from US$2 600 to US$3 000. Your company maintained and advised them that they would not be connected unless they comply with the demand.
“It is our clients’ view that demanding such a sum of money to get a ZESA connection is tantamount to corruption, usury and an attempt to reverse the government initiative to ensure that communities access basic amenities like electricity,” Majachani said.
The residents advised their legal representative that the developer has claimed ownership of the ZESA infrastructure in the area.
“This is unheard of and sounds like cheap robbery. A survey by our clients of ZESA connection costs per household in other recent developments has the following maximum prices ranging between US$327 and US$690,” Majachani said.
He questioned why the developer failed to justify the demand for the exorbitant fees when residents demanded an explanation earlier in January 2021.
Said the lawyer, “In view of the afore going, we have strict instructions to demand, as we hereby do, that within three days of receipt of this letter, you make a written undertaking to review the amount for ZESA connection to a reasonable figure not exceeding US$800 or allowing them to approach the power utility to have their houses connected.
“Should your company not comply with this letter and our demand herein within a period of five days of this letter, we have strict instructions to approach the High Court for a declaratory order with any resultant costs borne by your company at the legal practitioner and client sale,” Majachani added.