Bulawayo Business Freeze Amid Crippling CBD Power Cut

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE Bulawayo City Centre has been experiencing a crippling power blackout since Monday, a development which has seriously affected business in the city.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has attributed the power outage to a fault caused by a power surge which occurred Monday evening.

The power surge has also affected residential areas such as North End and some parts of Paddonhurst.

Business owners who spoke to were counting their losses as a result of the blackout.

“We are just coming from the lockdown and suddenly we don’t have electricity.

“Since Monday, we have not been working because our business depends on electricity. ZESA has never even bothered to explain to us what the problem is and what they are doing to rectify the situation,” said Timothy Hadebe, who runs a fresh vegetable business along George Silundika Street.

Hadebe said the situation has forced him to send all his employees home.

Stephen Gwatidzo, a manager at a local hotel said the business has lost numerous foodstuffs which were stored in cold rooms and fridges.

“We lost foodstuffs in our storing facilities such as beef and dairy products. All these products have now gone bad. Is ZESA going to compensate us for the loss?” said Gwatidzo.

Some of the businesses such as service stations have now resorted to using alternative energy sources such generators and solar.

Zesa acting Western Region manager Engineer Lloyd Jaji said the fault point has now been located and work was underway to restore power.

“The fault point has been located. We are currently digging to expose the failed cable. This will show us the extent of the damage,” said Eng Jaji.

He said the power utility was hoping to fix the problem by mid-day Friday.

Last year, the city centre and other suburbs also experienced a frustrating five-day power blackout following an electrical fault at a Zesa substation in Belmont industrial area.