Copper cable thieves struck in Bulawayo’s Barbourfields suburb, Tuesday, plunging a section of the suburb into darkness.
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Acting Western Region General Manager, Lloyd Jaji confirmed the incident and are working on sourcing replacement cables.
When CITE visited the area on Wednesday morning, some of the overhead cables were still lying on the ground.
Residents who spoke to the publication said they have been experiencing load shedding recently and the thieves could have taken advantage of the situation to steal the copper cables.
“We woke up without electricity and we thought it is load shedding only to notice overhead lines lying down. Beforehand we were told that we are the only ones remaining with copper cables in this area,” said Mrs Sibanda.
She added that it was difficult to guard the infrastructure especially during load shedding and appealed to the power utility to effect the load shedding programme during the day.
“We have children, people with chronic diseases, we don’t even know what to do, alternative sources of power such as gas are expensive.”
Another resident, Gogo Mamoyo appealed to the authorities to bring to book people who vandalise electricity infrastructure.
In addition, Mrs Hamadziripi revealed that they recently got electricity after spending months without it due to another fault.
“We spent months without electricity but it was not a problem of theft of copper cables and it was recently rectified, so today we woke up without electricity again due to theft,” said Hamadziripi.
“We really don’t know what is happening and how ZESA can fix that problem because as it is, it’s also affecting even school children who are doing online learning since we can’t recharge our phones,” she said.