Zimbabwe’s power utility Zesa employees, are using their knowledge of systems to steal and vandalise electricity infrastructure, a government minister has said.
In an interview, Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi said government is carrying out a full-scale probe into Zesa operations to flush out culprits.
“Government is convinced that there are current and former employees of Zesa who are part of the vandalism and theft we have witnessed on Zesa property. Those are acts of sabotage against the country,” Chasi said.
A shakeup is looming within Zesa as the Zimbabwe Government seeks corrective measures.
Minister Chasi recommended punitive jail sentences for offenders.
“We have since instructed Zesa to institute mass transfers as we get to the bottom of this. I have proposed to cabinet and I will be suggesting to parliament that we have a mandatory 30 year jail sentence for those tampering with Zesa property,” Chasi added.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa alluded to the same last week at the ZimTrade Annual Exporters’ Conference in Bulawayo, when he pointed out that people stealing transformers are familiar with the infrastructure.
“We are convinced that those who steal transformers either work for Zesa or are related to Zesa workers because you need some degree of information and technology to steal these transformers, and you must know that there is some danger involved,” said President Mnangagwa.
2 200 transformers have been vandalised around the country in recent months.