THE rains that pounded Bulawayo on Thursday afternoon damaged three substations that resulted in a power blackout in almost half the city.
Affected suburbs include Paddonhurst, North End, Sunnyside, Romney Park, Queens Park, Cowdray Park, Emakhandeni, Pumula East, Entumbane, Njube, Thorngrove, Nguboyenja, Mzilikazi, Hillside, Mahatshula, Gwabalanda, Luveve, Richmond and Sauerstown, have gone more than a day without electricity.
In Paddonhurst, a powerline was knocked down by a tree that fell on it and the neighbourhood has been without power since.
ZETDC Western region manager Engineer Lloyd Jaji said engineers were on the ground to address the problem.
“There are three substations around Bulawayo that were affected by the heavy rains, on Thursday. These are the ones in Queens Park, Emagetsini and Lensdile. So, the suburbs that are supplied have no electricity at the moment,” said Engineer Jaji.
Concerned residents have been calling the Chronicle since Thursday evening complaining about the blackout and most importantly the lack of communication on the part of the power utility regarding the absence of power.
They also expressed fear that some criminal elements would take advantage of the absence of power to pounce on them.
The residents’ fears are not without basis as this paper reported recently an incident in Cowdray Park where a group of 10 armed robbers raided a family in the suburb.
The robbers struck one of the occupants eight times with an axe as he pleaded with the criminals not to kill his mother.
It is against this background that we plead with the power utility to double their efforts towards restoring power to the residents so that they don’t fall prey to criminal elements.
The residents also face the potential loss of goods stored in refrigerators if the power blackouts persist while others use medication that has to be refrigerated.
Speaking to Chronicle yesterday, a resident, Mr Mthokozisi Ndlovu said he missed watching two historic events, the Zanu-PF Congress and the Zimbabwe national cricket team’s historic victory over Pakistan on Thursday.
“As patriotic Zimbabweans, we feel hard done by the lack of power and especially the silence of Zesa on the situation and what they are doing to rectify it.
“I couldn’t follow the Zanu-PF Congress on television because of the power cuts and the Zimbabwe Chevrons’ historic win against Pakistan. On Sunday I fear missing out on watching Highlanders playing against Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium as the game will be beamed live on television,” said Ndlovu.