… as a villager is electrocuted to death
By Emmanuel Hove Mhike
Residents in Mazvihwa have put the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution (ZETDC) to task while challenging relevant authorities to quickly respond to the people’s reports of fallen electrical lines and shaky poles. This comes after a farmer was recently electrocuted to death while working in a neighbor’s fields.
Ellington Chikombeka was electrocuted and died on the spot when a shaky Rural Electricity Agency (REA) established line passing through the fields unexpectedly fell over him.
A close relative David Shumba confirmed the incident and told this publication that the electricity line stands as a death trap.
“The poles can no longer withstand heavy rains and winds. There is need to strengthen the poles and for ZETDC to regularly check their lines. We held the ZETDC area Manager accountable,” said Shumba.
A close friend and neighbour to the deceased Mtongi Makumbirofa had no kind words for ZESA’s gross incompetency.
“This is very sad! I am very angry. ZETDC is grossly negligent. I’m told they were informed countless times about the risks posed by these shaky poles but did nothing! The workmanship was shoddy and corrupted from the onset. I hope one of us will escalate the issue to the relavant authorities and press. Or even organise a mini demonstration against ZESA. We demand natural justice and people must be hold to accountable. The whole community is at risk, time to act!” he said.
Also heartbroken was a member of the Mazvihwa royal family, Trymore Hove. Hove demands the naming and shaming of the ZETDC staff that failed to quickly respond to the community’s reports of the shaky line standing as a death trap.
“My prayer even though this won’t bring back our brother is to see heads rolling at ZESA Zvishavane and some people being held accountable so that this won’t be repeated. More lives could be lost, life is sacrosanct ,” said Hove.
Efforts to get a comment from ZETDC authorities were fruitless as they did not respond to calls made by this reporter before publication.
The Mazvihwa community is now living in fear because if action is not taken quickly, the electricity line might claim more lives. Reaction to reported critical issues in Mazvihwa has always been slow and sometimes totally ignored by relevant authorities.