Power outage hits upmarket Byo suburb

Residents of the upmarket Mqabuko Heights suburb in Bulawayo have gone for a week without electricity due to a fault.  

The residents told CITE that this kind of blackout is not new to the area as they have been experiencing similar incidents since last year. 

Samson Saruchera, a resident, said they had a power cut on February 21 and to date, they are still in the dark.

Saruchera noted that on several occasions they have approached ZESA offices to make reports but the fault is yet to be attended to.

“We had a power cut on February 21. Initially, we thought it was load shedding but as time went on, we realised it could have been a fault. A number of people have been to ZESA to report the fault but there is no change. The last time we went there they said the fault was coming from Whitestone but funny enough Whitestone has electricity. We need these people to explain to us what is going on,” he said. 

“The worst part is this is not the first time we have not had electricity. Last year we had a power cut from June to August. By then it was a problem with the transformer. We contributed money as residents and bought a transformer which cost about $3 600. ZESA said we will be reimbursed in form of electricity units but till now we have not received anything.” 

Another resident James Mpofu added that in January their copper cables were stolen and the residents again dug into their pockets to buy replacement cables. 

“We bought aluminium cables with the hope that our electricity woes would come to an end but little did we know. Now we have to deal with another blackout and the ZESA people are not communicating with us. If we had money, we would install solar because this kind of service delivery is really poor,” he said. 

 ZESA acting western region general manager Engineer Lloyd Jaji explained that there might be a fault that could have developed resulting in the blackout. 

“What happens is there are power lines which may be serving more than one point. If one point develops a fault there can be a blackout that affects that particular area which is what may have happened in this case. What is needed is for us to go on the ground and get the specifics in order to get the fault fixed,” he said. 

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