Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Bills, bill, bills!

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I have heard of a number of households in high density suburbs that have received fixed telephone bills of up to USD1,500 and had their phones disconnected. A guy told me the other day he got a bill for USD125 and also had his phone disconnected.

We get pronouncements from ministers in charge of state utilities assuring consumers that they will never be cut off from these essential services and yet these reports continue with consumers being clueless about recourse.

Electricity, water, telecommunications etc appear to be riddled with odious political machinations one has to wonder if these directives issued by the ministers mean anything to the utility administrators.

These directives appear to be simply ignored and if consumers do not have the protection of the ministers, where then do they turn for relief when their phones are cut off because of these ridiculous charges?

Everyone knows there is no Zimbabwean worker who earns a USD1,000 and we know civil servants get a measly USD100, and these are the folks who back then enjoyed the so-called mod-cons (fixed phones included) so how the heck are they expected to pay a USD1,500 phone bills.

It will take them a cool 15 months to settle that bill and this means in the meantime they won’t be eating anyting or paying any other bills! All this for a telephone? Only in Zimbabwe!!

These families will never again have a telephone in their homes, and if it is folks who had stuff like dial-up internet connection, they are then forced to patronise internet cafes where they will pay for a service they rightly should be accessing in the comfort of their homes.

Not only that, the inconvenience is inconceivable in this age where virtually every family has a member living and working outside the country who cannot get through the frustrating mobile phones.

Fixed phones then have been a godsend for these families as calls from abroad get through without any headaches, but who is listening. This is not an appeal for the service provider to ignore defaulting rate payers but rather simply to review these outrageous bills.

As long these rates are not revised, it’s a sure return to the Stone Age.

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