Bulawayo Business Operators Cry Foul After Power Blackout

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

SOME parts of Bulawayo Central Business District (CBD) have been without electricity since Monday this week, a development which has seriously affected business in the city.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has attributed the power cut to a fault at Belmont industrial area.

Residential areas such as Suburbs, Woodlands and some parts of Ilanda have also been affected by the fault.

Operators who spoke to complained that they have lost business 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 Never Moyo who operates a dry-cleaning business in the city centre.

Moyo said he was forced to send home all his employees because of the electricity challenges.

Stephen Gwatidzo, a manager at a local hotel said the said the hospitality facility has lost loads of foodstuffs which were stored in cold-rooms and fridges as a result of the blackout.

“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?” he said.

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

ZESA acting western region general manager Llyod Jaji said the company’s technical team was working on the fault.

“The technical team is still working flat out to restore electricity in the affected areas,” he said.

Jaji said the ongoing works could result in some affected areas getting electricity as efforts continue to restore power.

He said the loss of power supplies has been caused by a technical fault in Belmont.

He apologised for the interruption of the power supply in the affected areas.