REA fails Mudzi again

A stand-off between Chief Nyamukoho and the Rural Electrification Agency has delayed the roll-out of the regional pilot Single Wire Earth Return project in the area.

This is not the first time that REA has come under fire from local chiefs here. In September, The Zimbabwean newspaper reported Chief Chikwizo’s criticism of REA for abandoning the maintenance of solar panels and batteries installed on chiefs’ homesteads, clinics and schools.

The Swer project is being piloted in Mudzi district by the Power Institute of East and Southern Africa. The electrification method uses a single wire and reduces the amount of materials used. REA was tasked to implement the project.

The project could have taken off, but was stopped by Chief Nyamukoho when he protested that REA failed to honour its pledge to employ locals as general labourers.

“I am not happy because for anything to be successful, procedure should be followed. People have to abide by the agreements they made. My people are being turned against me. It was agreed that there would be no importation of labour for non-technical jobs,” said Chief Nyamukoho.

The Chief complained that REA had brought in 50 people to dig holes and install poles from outside. He said this disempowered his people.

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