GWERU thieves attempted to steal a ZESA transformer in Ascot yesterday 24 May 2020 and failed to open the transformer.
Secretary for Information Nick Mangwana confirmed the development saying the thieves failed to open the transformer and left it lying on the ground.
“On 24/5/2020, around 0300hrs, criminals hauled down a 100kva 11/0.4kv transformer in Ascot, Gweru. They did not manage to open the transformer, so they left it lying on the ground. Nothing was stolen from the transformer. Mtapa Police attended & investigations are in progress.” Mangwana wrote on Twitter.
Vandalism of ZESA property has been on the rise with affected areas often spending several days without reconnection due to a number of issues varying from lack of replacement parts to challenges regarding their purchase due to the current lockdown.
In 2019 alone, a total of US$20 million loss was experienced due to theft of cables and/or transformers.
ZESA Spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said that vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure have become a serious problem in their operations to the level of economic sabotage.
“The country is losing three transformers every night, with about 4 000 having been lost so far. These are imported materials, which cost about $5 000 each bringing the total loss to $20 million to date.”
Theft and vandalism of Zesa infrastructure has become prevalent throughout the country. “Replacement of transformers is very costly as they are imported. With the country experiencing such losses, theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure incidents have become a serious cause for concern and should be declared a state of emergency.”
The state of emergency entails diverting resources towards this challenge as infrastructure damage was stalling the economic development agenda. “Instead of improving on our services and growing as an industry, we are busy looking back to replace the cables that have been stolen and replace transformers, which have been drained of oil, and transformers whose components have been stolen.” Hararelive