Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority(ZESA) has revealed that it has lost 23 000 transformers and 76 000 cables in Bulawayo to thieves and they need to urgently repair them, Newsday reports.
The matter came to light after residents of Kingsdale complained to the power utility that they had gone for over a week without power due to the transformer issue. The residents further claimed that ZESA employees were part of the vandals seating cables and tampering with transformers. A resident who spoke to the publication said:
I think Zesa cables and transformers are being stolen by people who work for Zesa because this can only be done by professionals.
Sometimes when we report that our cables have once again been vandalised, they ask us to fork out money and buy the cables from a company called CAFCA, so that they can replace them which is not fair to us.This infrastructure belongs to Zesa and we are ratepayers.
What we want is service delivery from Zesa, not a demand for us to buy the stolen cables, it is not right. As I speak, we have not been having electricity since Monday and when we tell them to restore electricity, they are not acting.
At times they ask us to contribute money towards the replacements and to also guard the infrastructure. Is this our responsibility as ratepayers?
Responding to the issue, ZESA southern region manager Lovemore Chinaka said:
We have more than 23 000 transformers that need to be replaced and about 76 000 lines. So how do you think that it is possible to put people to guard such areas? It is not feasible at all
Chanaka refused to comment on the issue of ZEA employees stealing electricity supply infrastructure.