By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has dismally failed to find a solution to persistent power shortages in Bulawayo and always comes up with excuses for its failure, veteran broadcaster Ezra Tshisa Sibanda who is back home on holiday has fumed.
The City of Kings has been gripped by the severe energy crisis because the country’s major sources of electricity are struggling to keep up with demand. The Kariba power plant dam where Zimbabwe gets 57% of its electricity has low water levels due to poor rains last year.
In a public statement seen by Nehanda Radio, Sibanda said the shortage of electricity in Bulawayo had plunged the city into darkness and provided a launch pad for high crimes such as burglary.
Sibanda added that the power shortages had implications on other services like water supply.
“Last week when electricity went in some areas of the suburbs of Bulawayo, obviously because of persistent rainfalls, the engineers had promised to fix tripping transformers but never did.
“It’s now a week since electricity went and some of the suburbs remain in darkness and exposed to high crime of burglary. A lot of people rely on electricity to do their work, fridges are getting damaged now, boreholes not working and some people failing to get clean water just because of lazy Zeza engineers.
“Residents living in plots like Gumtree, Claremont, Parts of Kensington have been calling Zesa everyday pleading with them to help fix electricity but the company has been telling them they don’t have cars to send engineers.
“The company is now ignoring calls from residents and it’s clear they have a useless PR department which doesn’t care and bosses of this company have made this company theirs and operating it like a scrap yard.
“We have seen unprofessional companies in Zimbabwe but this is the worst company and they don’t even know what they are doing. Residents should expect to spend their Xmas in darkness yet they pay their electricity bills, that’s criminal,” he said.
He said: “Just last night, Sunday the 20th of December at a sports club car park in Bulawayo, l saw a Zesa Car parked around 22.45hrs. I went to try and talk to the occupants but l found them having sex in the car, a truck registration ADY 1796.
“On rushing to my car to get my phone to record them, the driver quickly reversed the car and sped off. I chased after it and managed to get the registration plates. I had to back off when the guy increased his speed even more along the airport road and by then the speed was around 120km/h. I just wanted to ask the guy to help reconnect electricity in our area but well he had to rush before it slept, hopefully they went on to finish their job elsewhere since l disturbed them.”
Sibanda added that Zesa officials were prioritising areas where their bosses reside and avoid cutting electricity.
“Zesa people simply don’t care but what l discovered power doesn’t cut in areas where the management and bosses of this incompetent parastatal live. This is a company which has been milking poor people of Zimbabwe for years, a real fraud and delivering nothing.
“Zesa has been underperforming and been fingered in shoddy deals and is just full of corruption, favouritism for selected consumers, and wasteful management structures. There should be a complete overhaul of Zesa. Power should never be supplied on favouritism, connection, nepotism, political or religious grounds, everyone should have access to power as simple as that.
“The corruption at Zesa Bulawayo is sickening and its engineers should go, those abusing company cars driving around to shebeens, clubs, drinking and having sex in company cars should be fired #zesainshambles, #corruption #incompetence ZESA, ” he said. Nehanda Radio