By Alois Vinga
THREE transformers are being stolen every night causing erratic power supplies and losses running in millions of dollars, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has revealed.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Sunday, ZESA public relations manager Fullard Gwasira added that failure to clampdown on vandals is also draining income which could otherwise be used to develop the nation’s electricity infrastructure.
The country, Gwazira explained, needs to replace some 4,000 transformers which were either lost and damaged due to vandalism.
“Our records confirm that as of August 2018, vandalism had cost the power authority a total of $4.5 million and, measured daily, at least three transformers are stolen every night,” he said.
“It’s time such thefts are declared a national disaster because they continue to derail huge investments made to avail electricity in the country. “
Gwasira disputed allegations that some power utility staff were also involved in the theft of transformers.
“We do not have evidence that ZESA employees are involved and these allegations just come without the required accompanying evidence,” he said.
“The power authority has an internal code of conduct which speaks against such issues.
“Those levelling the allegations must recall that knowledge of electricity is not limited to ZESA alone as there are a lot of companies which have retrenched qualified technicians and engineers.”
Meanwhile, ZESA has since issued a statement warning the public to brace for increased power cuts due to the effects of vandalism.
The warning was issued by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, a ZESA subsidiary.
“ZETDC is pursuing various strategies that include patrols special operations in liaison with other security agents and awareness campaigns to contain the menace from further damaging and interference with electricity networks,” the company said.