By John Nhandara
RESIDENTS in Harare’s Kambuzuma surburb have raised concern over a spike in electricity cable theft cases, with the recent incidents that have left the community in the dark attributed to negligence by the power utility company.
Kambuzuma Section 6, has been plunged into darkness yet again after electricity cables were stolen a few days after installation.
This comes three days after a similar incident occurred in the same area, a situation that has ignited residents tempers as they have been contributing towards wiring and repairs.
“This is the third time we are facing this problem, three days ago cables were stolen, we reported to ZESA they came and left without protecting what was there, today it has happened again,” said a resident.
“What has drawn the wrath of the residents is the shoddy works carried out by the electricity supply utility Iaying the cable on a trench less than 20cm deep despite repeated warnings. They asked us to dig up trenches that are on the surface, we even proposed to cover with concrete, but they refused,” added another.
Of late, vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure has been rampant in the country which might warrant the need to revisit copper trading legislation.
ZETDC Acting Chief Public Relations Manager, Prosper Mutswiri admitted a spike in vandalism and theft of ZESA properties saying there is an ongoing blitz of arresting gangs involved in cable theft.
“Statistics have shown that most of the vandals are drawn from various backgrounds across the country. The public can report any suspcion of staff involved in theft of ZESA property.We are adressing leackages of theft through a cocktail of measures such as target hardening and lobbying of detterent punitive measures for offendors,” he explained.
Meanwhile, ZETDC announced there will be increased load shedding as a result of depressed local power generation, coupled with increased electricity demand and power import constraint