Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) customers using tokens to buy power have complained that some vendors compel them to buy more power than they need, saying they are short of tokens.
Speaking to this paper in an interview yesterday in Dar es Salaam, a customer identified as Hamis Kambi from Sinza said for almost three weeks now he has been compelled to buy more power than he needed.
“I usually buy units worth 10,000/- but the vendor has always tells me to increase the amount because she did not have enough tokens,” he lamented.
He said the condition inconvenienced him because he did not have enough money to buy more power.
Another customer identified as Rozalia Sanga, from Mwenge said most vendors did not provided them with enough information on the token.
“Most of them (vendors) were not cooperative when we ask why they do not have enough tokens for power. She urged them to inform customers in advance in case they face a token shortage in order to save time,” she said.
Another customer who preferred anonymity urged Tanesco officials to be transparent in issuing new LUKU meters to its clients.
He said the issuance of meters was too slow, prompting unscrupulous officials to capitalise on it.
“We suspect that some workers are using the loophole for financial gains,” he alleged, adding that the new meters are issued to people on selective basis, especially those who are in the process of putting up new buildings.
He called upon Tanesco management to monitor closely the installation of the meters, so as to safeguard its reputation as an honest public firm which serves all people fairly.
Speaking to this paper in a telephone interview late yesterday evening, the Tanesco Managing Director William Mhando said he was not aware of the complaint, but that the company has enough tokens.
“I’m not aware of the shortage. But last week we bought over 5,000 tokens which were supposed to be distributed to vendors,” he said.
However the MD said he was not in a position to give detailed information and directed our reporter to talk to the person responsible for token distribution.
“Please give me some minutes I will give you the number and name of the person dealing with tokens who can provide you with detailed information,” he stated. Until we went to press neither the number nor the name of the person had been availed to our reporter.
Recently the company announced the introduction of the latest meter reading technology that integrates both the Luku and the Automatic Meter Reader (ARM) system.
The technology, to be used starting this year, will control loss of power and the challenges that come with physical reading of meters for the big clients who could not initially be served by the Luku technology.
According to the public power utility, its staff has been facing challenges in meter reading and authenticating receipts given to clients overtime.
While LUKU had controlled the challenges of physical meter reading and carrying receipts for the small users, the challenges had continued for the bigger users who could not use LUKU meters.
"A client can get information on usage anytime they want through the Tanesco website," the statement.
The technology would help clients to control usage through monitoring their consumption records on the website.
According to statement the technology is used in the US, European Union countries, China, South America and some African countries.