ZESCO director for generation Fidelis Mubiana told a news briefing that some of the electricity utility staff members who are involved in deliberate alterations of pay slips, inflating their salaries in order to obtain higher loans from some financial institutions will be dismissed for such conduct.
This came to light when Lusaka province Minister Bowman Lusaka paid an unannounced early morning visit to the ZESCO head offices on Thursday, 6 September.
Lusambo told the briefing that he is sadden by reports he had received that a considerable number of ZESCO workers have over borrowed money from Banks and financial institutions as personal loans which is causing them not to focus on work, instead they are busy moving up and down during working hours in order to look for other means of raising money to pay back the funds that they have over-borrowed.
“I have received reports from members of the public that some workers at the company are getting very little salaries (left over after loan deductions) because they have over borrowed from Banks and financial institutions which is causing them not to focus on work, but on looking for extra and other means of raising funds for paying back the borrowed money,” he said.
The Lusaka province Minister said ZESCO is loosing colossal sums of money due to poor working attitude of certain workers at the company. Lusambo noted that some workers who were supposed to have reported for work at 07:45 hours had not yet reported whiles others were busy seen flooding shopping malls instead of being at the offices.
The provincial Minister has described such behavior as unprofessional and that such behavior robs the company and the nation of development hence those workers caught in the act be brought to book and serious actions be taken to ensure change in the work attitude of other workers at the company.
Meanwhile the Minister has wondered how people leaving at unplanned settlements have been able to access power connected by Zesco.“Compounds such as Bauleni, Kanyama and others which are full of illegal settlers have access to power connected by ZESCO, how is this possible? this the minister said was an act of possible corruption”.
The regional Minister has since urged ZESCO to work hand in hand with the Lusaka City Council to ensure that those people living on illegal land do not have access to power but wait for Government to take action. There has been national concerns that Zesco has a bloated workforce that needs to be rationalized.
Last year at the height of electricity tariff reviews upwards by 75% debates, ZESCO had pledged to do and avail a cost of service report for both residential and industrial segments that would independently show the levels of efficiency at the power utility. The report was expected to be unveiled by end of 2017 but is still to be made available to the public.