By Mthabisi Tshuma
Some parts of Bulawayo’s western suburbs have been plunged into darkness following the theft of copper cables with the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) saying it cannot guarantee immediate restoration of electricity in the affected areas.
About 950 metres of copper cables were stolen in Njube leaving Njube, Old Lobengula, Lobengula Extension and Mpopoma without electricity since Monday.
Zesa southern region manager Engineer Lovemore Chinaka confirmed the copper cable theft and said they cannot guarantee immediate restoration of electricity.
“I can confirm that copper cables were stolen in Njube and our team has attended to the situation but we are yet to know when electricity will be fully restored to the affected areas. We are sourcing aluminum from local suppliers to address the issue,” he said.
Eng Chinaka urged members of the public to report suspects.
Ward 12 councillor Lilian Mlilo said residents have been hit hard by the blackout considering that most of the time they are home due to the lockdown. “The blackout has hit the entire ward 12, with Mpopoma suburb which falls under Cllr Mabuto also being affected.
“We have managed to make sure that Zesa responds fast to the issue so that we try by all means to ensure that the residents heed the call of staying at home with electricity being an essential service which helps them to observe the lockdown and stay indoors,” said Cllr Mlilo.
This news crew visited the affected suburbs on Thursday and residents called for the speedy restoration of electricity.
Victor Moyo, one of the residents who raised alarm after seeing the copper cable thieves said there is a need for police and soldiers to do night patrols in Njube. “It is high time that the police and soldiers move into the western suburbs to restore order as thefts are on the rise with people mostly in their houses during the lockdown.
“For some of the residents who rely on selling products in their houses which require refrigeration they are most affected and will incur losses,” said Moyo. The Chronicle