By Davison Vandira
Rampant theft and vandalism of ZESA infrastructure continue to bleed the power utility of key resources, while also plunging residential areas into darkness.
A tour of Harare’s Glenview 7 density suburb unravelled the effects of vandalism and theft. Residents have to contend with living without electricity as the transformer serving their area was allegedly vandalised.
The obtaining situation has left businesses and residents counting losses.
“As residents we are now hopeless as we have been told the transformer was damaged,” said a resident.
“The issue of electricity here is taking a huge toll on us financially as Gas is very expensive for most of us as we cannot use firewood due to the rains. We are appealing to authorities to help us with making sure that normal service is returned.”
The vandalism of ZESA property in Glenview is just a tip of an iceberg, with ZESA a lot of revenue each year to unscrupulous activities.
While ZESA was not readily available to give statistics on the exact losses the power utility is incurring each year due to vandalism, government has made it clear that safeguarding ZESA infrastructure is a collective responsibility.
According to the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda the current challenges are not related to electricity generation capacity but they are due to vandalism and theft of ZESA property.
“As a country we are producing enough electricity to cater for Commercial and domestic use, however what is being experienced is being necessitated by theft and vandalism of our infrastructure. As the ministry we are now appealing to Zimbabweans to work together to eliminate this serious challenge bedevilling our country.”
These criminal activities, if not addressed, will continue to bleed the country a lot of financial resources in recurrent expenditures through maintenance and repairs.
By Davison Vandira