Residents of the city of Bulawayo are up in arms with ZESA Holdings’ subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company over its plans to demolish two of the six cooling towers at the Bulawayo Power Station.
Bulawayo’s nickname Kontuthu Ziyathunqa (the smoke that bellows) was derived from the towers that spewed white steam into the air when the plant was in its prime.
Reports indicate that there is an ownership dispute of the coal-fired Bulawayo Power Station between the power utility and Bulawayo City Council (BCC).
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Bulawayo mayor councillor Solomon Mguni told Newsday that plans to destroy the monumental towers will be resisted. Said Mguni:
First, it was Zimbabwe National Water Authority trying to take over Bulawayo Water some 12 years ago. Now, this! How on earth does a tenant destroy and alter a landlord’s property without the express consent and authority of the owner?
Worse still, there is an ownership legal dispute which is before the superior courts of the land. Not in our lifetime. It is the property of the downtrodden and resilient residents of Bulawayo.
No amount of fraud or hate will kill the spirit of the residents of Bulawayo to keep and control what belongs to them.
However, ZESA claimed that it does not seek to demolish the towers but rather to upgrade them.
This would be achieved by destroying the old and dangerous cooling towers 1 and 2 and building a new one in their place.