Escalating cases of stolen electricity cables widening the inequality gap

By Sharon Mautsi- Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

The country has seen sky rocketing theft cases of electricity cables and Bulawayo East District has not been spared, this has led to residents living in the dark for over a period of 3weeks. When cases of theft were reported Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has taken a very long time to respond and when they were asked, they told residents on multiple cases that they do not have any cables to replace the stolen ones. Residents have been encouraged to contribute money per household so they purchase their own and then call ZETDC for installation. A case in point in Gwabalanda, Ward 16 residents now have semi- permanent groups for electricity faults.

About a month ago, electricity cables were stolen at Morningside affecting about five households along Matopos Road. Speaking to one of the affected residents, Miss Moyo, of number 99 Matopos Road in Morningside, it was alleged that soon after cutting the cables, the thieves fled from the scene leaving behind the cables they had cut. She went on to say that the next morning after a report was made to ZETDC and Zimbabwe Republic Police(ZRP)-Hillside Station, the department that is responsible for stolen cables at ZETDC still had not arrived at the scene. According to Miss Moyo, the ZRP reported to the scene and allegedly took the dumped electricity cables.

However, it is reported that one of the affected house holds is owned by one ZETDC employee and she has had the privilege of getting people from ZETDC to bridge electricity on the two cables that remained uncut to her house and the neighbor’s, unfortunately Miss Moyo’s household and two others remain in the darkness. The saddest part about the situation is now these three households are given the burden of buying electricity cables which were allegedly taken by the ZRP police who supposedly made a deal with the suspects.
According to the Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission, Hillside Police Station is enlisted on one of the most corrupt police stations in the country and in this case it has cost the residents of Morningside access to electricity supply. Regrettably, inequalities continue to affect the general citizens whilst those with connections and those who are corrupt continue to benefit at their expense.

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