ZESA transformers vandalised daily in Midlands; communities urged to guard installations

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By Staff Reporter

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) has lamented rampant vandalism of property, which is reportedly costing the utility millions of dollars.

Vandals were stripping the company’s property daily, particularly transformers.

Speaking during a Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) workshop in Kwekwe, ZETDC Southern Region Marketing Officer, Edward Nyoni highlighted that vandalism was a growing problem for the power utility.

“People are vandalising ZESA property and they are targeting mainly transformers. From these transformers, people are stealing copper and some are stealing oil from these transformers,” he said.

“It is sad that the reason for vandalising transformers is sometimes for useless things. Some steal oil to prepare potato crisps, which is a health hazard. We are losing scarce resources, we are losing transformers and these are in short supply,” he said.

He challenged communities to safeguard property as well as pay for services.

“We have a challenge where some consumers are not paying for the services. These consumers range from commercial, residential and industrial users and this greatly affects the country. As you are aware we do import electricity, it will be a challenge then if people are not settling their bills,” he said.

Zimbabwe imports electricity from Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique.

However, South Africa has been battling its own power challenges.

Nyoni also bemoaned electricity theft.

“Some consumers are shortchanging the power utility through illegal connections. We are, therefore, losing money through these practices.

“Consequently, the whole country will suffer from such actions,” he said.

“Some people have lost their lives and houses through these illegal connections.

“This vandalism in Midlands province is happening everyday. Transformers are community property and they must be safeguarded,” he said.