Residents Not Forced To Buy Replacement ZESA Cables, Says ZETDC
The Zimbabwe Electricity, Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) says residents are not forced to buy cables to replace those that would have been stolen and can wait for the power utility to source and replace them.
Speaking to The Sunday News, ZETDC Western region manager Lloyd Jaji, however, said residents with the capacity to contribute will have their accounts credited with their contributions.
This comes after residents of Hillside and Hillcrest in Bulawayo alleged that the power company was forcing them to buy replacement cables from a company called Cafca.
After another cable was stolen in the area, ZETDC staff allegedly suggested to the residents that they buy the replacement cable.
Residents living along Durham, Cambridge, Hereford, Buckingham, part of Leicester and part of Stafford roads say they have endured cable theft since December last year. One of the residents said:
Get Pindula News on our WhatsApp Channel
Subscribe here: https://whatsapp.com/channel/0029Va84dngJP21B2nWeyM3v
As a block, we have contributed more than eight times with some families having contributed close to US$100 as it is.
We have never been reimbursed since January and our plight is that ZESA (ZETDC’s parent company) works with Cafca and harvest all the copper in exchange for aluminium. We have engaged ZESA but we have not been assisted.
Jaji denied allegations that ZETDC was colluding with Cafca, the company that supplies aluminium cables. He said:
If we do not remove the copper, they will steal it anyway. After that, we then have to buy replacement cables from our resources.
Being proactive we came up with a programme to replace the copper before it’s stolen so we recoup some value from it.
To support the programme, we went to tender nationally for a supplier of aluminium cables in exchange for copper and that tender was won by Cafca.
The cables that are at stores and were supplied by Cafca are therefore contractually tied. In the meantime, where thieves have stolen, we must source replacement cables using other funding mechanisms.
If at the time of the theft, we do not have such cables in stock, clients have two options — one is to wait for us to source the cables or if they cannot wait and have the capacity, they can buy and supply the required quantity and as compensation, we then credit their accounts.