Norton council, church in soup over builder’s electrocution

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE Norton Town Council and a local church are in soup after a builder was electrocuted during construction of a double storey building below an 11KW electricity cable.

The town council, represented by Bester Maramba and the church, Christ Citadel International represented by Lindani Ndaba are jointly charged with an engineer Israel Isheanesu, who failed to give proper advice resulting in the death of one Lovejoy Mwandiambira.

The three were hauled before a Harare magistrate facing culpable homicide charges.

It is State case that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) issued several warnings to the Church advising them to halt construction until the overhead electricity line was transferred but they ignored the advice.

“On an unknown date in 2014, the church bought a stand and started to develop stand number 3834, Ngoni Township in Norton,” read the court papers.

“The town council was negligent in that it issued a stand to the first accused knowing there was an 11KW electricity line directly above the stand.

“The Town Council further approved building plans for the double storey structure without checking pertinent existing infrastructure and failed to inspect workers doing the construction of the building to electrocution by the power line.”

The third accused, Isheanesu was also a congregant in Christ Citadel International Church.

He was in charge of inspection as a civil engineer, but he allowed construction to be done when circumstances did not permit.

The deceased Mwandiambira died on December 4 2014 after his neck came in contact with the power-line.

It is alleged he was pouring water to concrete slabs on the staircases on the fateful day.

Prosecutors further allege there was no clearance and no warning signs exposing workers to fatalities.

Mwandiambira died on spot and his relatives and co-workers are expected to give their testimony during the trial.