By Mbekezeli Ncube
ABOUT 42 spans (seven kilometres) of copper electricity cable was stolen over three weeks ago plunging residents of Maphisa and several other areas in the Matabeleland South area in total blackout.
The cable theft was confirmed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA).
The incident has affected Business Centres such as Sun Yet Sen, Tshelanyemba, Homestead, Cross Roads, Brunapeg, Ingwizi, Mphoengs Boarder Post, Mayobodo, Valley Irrigation, Makwe Irrigation, Baker and Lushongwe.
An affected resident in the area accused ZESA of dragging its feet in rectifying the problem.
“During the first week of that operation, they (ZESA) said the truck that they use to ferry equipment broke down and this is now the third week and even our local leaders are quiet about it,” said the official.
Maphisa is arguably the most convenient Central Business District in Matobo District and the blackout has affected the area in so many ways.
This includes the pumping of water to residential areas and businesses.
Maphisa District Hospital mortuary has also been forced to close and people now travel to Bulawayo, some 100km away, to access mortuary services.
Zesa Holdings Public Relations Officer, Fullard Gwasira said the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is on a mission to recover the stolen property before the end of this year.
“ZETDC is in the process of recovering all 65 kilometres of the power line and then restringing it with aluminium conductor.
“This project is expected to be done by 31 December 2019.
“ZETDC and Zesa are appealing to communities to report suspicious characters to the police or any nearest depot. Clients are required to report cases of loss of power as some of them are a result of vandalism,” he said.