DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania’s state-owned power utility company on Thursday gave the
Zanzibar archipelago two weeks to clear its U.S. 64 million dollars unpaid
electricity bills or face power cut.
Tito Mwinuka, the Acting Managing
Director of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), said the power
utility owed its clients a total of U.S.138 million dollars in unpaid bills.
"The Zanzibar government through its power company Zanzibar Electricity
Corporation has the biggest share of the debt to TANESCO," Mwinuka told a news
conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
"We are going to issue written notices to all big defaulters," said Mwinuka,
"After the expiry of the notices we will disconnect power supply to any
defaulter big or small who will have not started paying their debts."
TANESCO’s move came four days after President John Magufuli ordered them to
disconnect all defaulters, including the Zanzibar archipelago.
"Don’t be scared... we would cut power supply to any institution which is not
paying its bills.
"I want to ask the Minister (for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo)
that power should be disconnected even to State House," he said.
Following President Magufuli’s directive, authorities in Zanzibar said plans
were underway to clear the debt, adding that they were discussing modalities of
Mwinuka said TANESCO expected all defaulters to heed the ultimatum notice and
once the debts were cleared the utility firm will be in a better position to
provide better services.
"The debts have for a long time been delaying implementation of key services
including rehabilitation of infrastructure and timely execution of development
projects," he said.