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9-year-old Chitungwiza boy sues ZESA for US$500,000

A 9 year old Chitungwiza boy is suing the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) for $500,000 after suffering severe injuries from exposed high voltage electricity cables.

Protesters vent their anger with power utility Zesa
Protesters vent their anger with power utility Zesa

The boy, Frank Shanguro of House Number 4710 Manyame Park, reportedly suffered a high voltage shock when a live earth cable installed by ZETDC made contact with a live high voltage cable, resulting in the cables transmitting high voltage electricity into the boy.

As a result, Frank sustained extensive injuries including gangrenous (infected) left upper limb and numerous deep burns to the scalp, face, right lower limb and at the back of his chest.

He is now suing the power utility for $200,000 being damages for severe pain and suffering permanent disability, $100 000 for loss of amenities in life, $100 000 for loss of future earning capacity and $100 000 for loss of expectation of life.

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The minor, who is cited as the plaintiff under case number HC 114528/12, is being assisted by his father David Shanguro.

He is being represented by a Harare lawyer Misheck Hogwe who said in the summons: “Plaintiff has suffered loss of amenities of life in that he can no longer have the blessing of any unclouded mind, healthy body, sound limbs and the ability to conduct unaided basic functions of life such as running, eating and dressing. Before the shock, plaintiff was involved in football and athletics.”

Allegations are that the incident occurred on September 8 this year while Frank was playing with other children in the garden.

After the electric shock, Frank was hospitalised at Chitungwiza General Hospital for more than two months where he was transfused, his left arm amputated and debrided.

In his declaration, the minor argued that the contact between the earth and live high voltage cables was caused solely by the ZETDC negligence through one or more of its relevant employees.

“Having created a potentially dangerous situation, they failed to secure the live cables in such a manner as would ensure that the cables would not have contact with the otherwise harmless earth cable. They failed to secure the earth cable against access by children and human beings in general to avoid the risk of electrocution in the event that the earth cable had contact with live cables,” the minor said. The Herald