News24 Correspondent | 2017-06-05 | News24
Harare – Here’s one to strike fear into the hearts of powercut-fearing Zimbabweans: if the authorities find you selling one of those old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs, you could end up in jail.
The state-owned Chronicle newspaper reports that police and officials from the tax authority will be conducting raids on shops and will arrest anyone found selling incandescent bulbs.
Worse still, the newspaper suggests, anyone found simply using the bulbs (which were banned from last month), could also be arrested, jailed for up to a year and fined 5,000 US. There will be a grace period during which consumers are allowed to use up their old bulbs.
The threats are meant to push Zimbabweans into buying and using the more expensive fluorescent bulbs that consume less power.
Zimbabwe is having problems paying its power bill to Eskom, with Eskom threatening to cut supplies last month over a $43 million.
Says the Chronicle: “Anyone found using or distributing incandescent bulbs or ordinary filament lamps faces an imprisonment term of up to one year and/or a fine of 5,000 US.”
Quoting Gloria Magombo, CEO of the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority, the paper said: “Consumers were however given an allowance to use up those bulbs they had already purchased and replace them with LED lighting as soon as they are used up.”
The light bulbs were banned by the EU but could make a comeback after researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said they’d devised a new model that saved energy, according to the Daily Mail last year.