By ZBC Reporter
THE energy sector is under threat due to vandalism, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development has said.
Speaking during a meeting with the Energy Sector Workers Union, this Thursday in Harare, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Fortune Chasi said vandalism which is being experienced across the country impedes the development of the energy sector.
“I want you to know that your sector is under attack mainly due to sabotage and people who engage in vandalism. These culprits are very serious about what they are doing, We have transformers that are being destroyed every day,” said the Minister.
To conquer this challenge the minister said that the formulation of the new regulation Framework which will see individuals involved in vandalism facing over 30years imprisonment were at an advanced stage.
“The new regulatory framework is going to be introduced soon. I will be able to present it to parliament soon as soon as all is in place. This is a scourge that we should deal with. This is the biggest risk that the country is facing at the moment. We think that there are big guys who buy the cooper, we are already looking at the copper licencing framework. We need to put an end to this swiftly. Theft is unacceptable and theft of Energy Infrastructure and transport infrastructure must be dealt with very decisively,” said the minister
He called on the Energy Sector Workers to cooperate with the government in putting an end to vandalism.
“Putting an end to vandalism is not something that government can do alone, which is why when I spoke to earlier I said workers are an integral part of the security system of our infrastructure, he said.
The Ministry has come up with short and long term solutions to end the energy supply challenges bedeviling the nation.
“Our generation capacity is limited at the moment and developments like what happened at Hwange affect us very gravely, fortunately, our people have worked very hard to try and get us out of that situation. The immediate solution has been continuous engagement with our neighbours to get us power, and developing structures that will enable us to first of all deal with debts that are there. The Eskom debt has been substantially reduced, we have been on a payment plan. We continue to look for possible structures that will help us clear the debt. We also need debts that are owed by customers to be paid, ZESA is working on that. And in the long-term of course, we are working on introducing solar systems,” said the Minister.
He also stressed the government’s commitment to transparency and nabbing all corrupt individuals who are causing the Energy sector to stagger, highlighting that the forensic audit report will be soon be published.
By ZBC Reporter