WOZA officials said the marches marked the launch of the anti-ZESA monopoly petition that will be delivered at Parliament and President Robert Mugabe’s office next month.
The WOZA demonstrators staged simultaneous protests at various points of the country’s second city, outwitting heavily armed police that had cordoned the ZESA thermal power stations.
The demonstrators marched from various points of the city, distributing fliers castigating the monopoly of ZESA on the energy sector, bringing traffic to a halt just before lunch hour.
“Zimbabweans should sign the petition calling for an end to the ZESA monopoly and abuse of its monopoly. Millions of Zimbabweans are robbed daily when power goes off without any deduction in their electricity bill,” Magodonga Mahlangu, the ZESA spokesperson.
WOZA leader, Jenni Williams added: “This is not fair. We are demanding prepaid meters and affordable, fair electricity service. Zimbabweans should sign this petition that demands prepaid meters, actual bills…”
The Competition and Tariff Commission late last year ruled that ZESA was abusing its monopoly on the energy sector, saying utility’s tariffs were illegal as they were estimates and out of reach for many.
ZESA had been disconnecting consumers over outstanding payments to the power utility since the country started using a basket of foreign currencies.
ZESA – which is failing to provide adequate electricity as seen by the long power load shedding schedule – is accused by consumers of demanding estimated outstanding payments.
Some consumers have expressed shock as they have received bills showing that they have not paid anything to the power utility since despite having receipts showing payment.