ZESA Crisis: MP says residents forced to crowd fund to replace old underground cables, transformers

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By Staff Reporter

RESIDENTS in Harare West experiencing power outages due to worn out electrical cables are being forced to crowd fund for repairs, it has emerged.

Member of Parliament for Harare West, Joanah Mamombe revealed during a Parliament Question and Answer session that residents in her constituency were paying for procurement and replacement of stolen transformers. 

“Residents in Harare West Constituency are being told that the reason why there is no electricity is because the cables that are used for transmitting power are now old.

“Therefore, the residents are now contributing a lot of money to replace those underground cables,” Mamombe said.

Posing a question to the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Soda Zhemu, Mamombe said: “I would like to know what is going to happen to the contributions, are they going to be refunded after replacing the cables and other equipment.”

Zhemu in response said it is the role of ZESA to replace broken down power cables.

However residents who contribute to the replacement and procurement of electrical accessories when ZESA does not have anything in stock, according to the Energy Minister, are liable to full reimbursement from the parastatal.

“Broken cables can be the cause of shortage of power but let me clarify that it is not Government policy that residents whose cables would have developed problems should buy on their own those cables, it is supposed to be done by ZESA as a parastatal” Zhemu said.

He added: “Procuring of equipment by parastatals is in the public domain through PRAZ, so sometimes it may take long, due to the processes.  So sometimes the residents themselves may volunteer to buy those cables or transformers. 

“ZESA, therefore requests that those residents who would have purchased such items write a letter that they are doing that voluntarily and state how much they have used to purchase such equipment and that money is reimbursed through electricity charges.”