THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has vowed to resist plans by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) move to demolish the city’s two iconic cooling towers at the Bulawayo Thermal Power station.
The city council owns the thermal power station.
The city has however been battling to regain control of the coal fired power station that was arbitrarily expropriated by ZESA more than two decades ago after the amalgamation of all local authorities electricity undertakings.
“A tenant cannot destroy and alter a landlord’s property without the express consent and authority of the owner,” city mayor Solomon Mguni told NewZimbabwe.com.
“We cannot allow ZESA to destroy our monumental assets like that.
“Remember, the city of Bulawayo is nicknamed the smoke that bellows (Kontuthu Ziyathungu) because of those cooling towers.”
Mguni said he wonders why the power utility was insisting on demolishing the cooling towers when the ownership of the property is still to be determined by the courts.
“Why is ZESA planning to demolish these iconic cooling towers when the issue is before the courts? These cooling towers belong to the residents of Bulawayo.
“ZESA need to extensively consult the residents and stakeholders of the city. As city council, we will not allow that to happen (demolition),” said Mguni.
The mayor said the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has also been trying over the past 12 years to take over the city’s water but has failed.
“First it was (ZINWA) trying to take over Bulawayo water. Now it is ZESA trying to destroy our infrastructure,” said the mayor.
ZESA says it is planning to demolish the iconic Bulawayo towers as part of their upgrading process.
The power utility argues that the destroyed cooling towers will make way for bigger and modern cooling towers.