By Marylin Dube
There is uproar from students attached at the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) after the power utility is demanding that the students must pay back the allowances, “which were erroneously deposited in their accounts.”
Students who spoke to this publication said the company deposited $7900 RTGs in their accounts last month June as a Covid-19 allowance instead of the usual $2000 rtgs.
The student interns are therefore, expected to pay a balance of $5900.
The company has however, made a volte-face and is demanding that students must pay back the money since it was erroneously deposited in their accounts and they are not entitled to the windfall.
“I feel like what was done to us was unfair for instance I have already spent the money and I don’t have any side hustles this is a difficult time for me. Where will I get the money?” one of the students who spoke to the Midlands Observer fumed.
Another student said the company must reconsider its position since students are not in a position to pay back the money.
ZPC Managing Director Kenneth Maswera in a letter dated 8 July 2020 is insisting that students must pay back the money.
“Please be advised that following the June 2020 supplementary payroll, all students on attachment were erroneously paid an allowance which they were not entitled to,” Maswera said in a letter in possession of this publication.
He said the only way to rectify the problem is for the students to pay back the money.
“To rectify the position, all students on Attachments are thus required to pay back to ZPC the net amount of the Covid & Grocery Allowance with immediate effect as per attached schedules, by station per student. Those who cannot refund the amounts the full amounts at once with immediate effect should approach their respective HR departments for payment plans not exceeding 2 months,” Maswera said.
He strongly warned students to comply as stern measures would be taken against defaulters.
“Refunds should be made to the respective Power Station bank accounts for easier reconciliation and follow ups. All students are to provide proof of payment to their HR departments. We sincerely hope that no one will take advantage of this error in the spirit of cooperation between ZPC and the affected students. Failure to refund ZPC, leave us with no option but to take action to redress our position,” he said.