ZESA delays stalls Budiriro co-op dream

Delays by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to dispatch the company’s assessment team to Budiriro bakery in Buhera has stalled progress for the successful completion of the electrification of the income-generating venture.

Members of the co-operative last year received a $1,000 donation from a reader of The Zimbabwean who had been moved by their plight following publication of their story. Their income-generating venture was lying dormant because they could not raise $800 needed to electrify their Masasa bakery.

Said the group’s Chairperson, Rangarirai Muchandibaya, “After building the bakery from scratch, we were thrilled after getting the donation and we moved with speed and engaged a private electrician for the job. He finished doing the job last year in November and submitted all the necessary paper work to ZESA Chipangai office, but to date, nothing has been done.”

Muchandibaya described the timely donation by McKechnie and said the group was optimistic of making a lot of profit from their various confectioneries during the festive season.

She said efforts to engage the ZESA officials had born no fruit. Contacted for comment, ZESA Public Relations Manager Fullard Gwasira said he would investigate why it was taking so long for the assessment team to certify whether electricity had been installed according to ZESA parameters.

“I have talked to the responsible person for that area and if you can send me your contact details, I will have them get back to you as soon as possible,” he promised. By the time of going to press the responsible person had not made contact and efforts to get a comment from the Chipangai office in Chipinge were futile.

An official within the power utility said, “I would attribute that to laziness. There are others that are very good at doing their private jobs at the expense of the company and some of these electricians want bribes even for jobs that are within their mandate as ZESA personnel.”

An electrician, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that ZESA personnel required a ‘push’ – or else they would take more than four or sometimes six months to come and access electricity.

Rural Electrification Agency Spokesperson, Johannes Nyamayedenga could not disclose the progress made so far by the government initiated rural electrification programme. “That information will be published soon,” he said.

Initiated in 2002, the rural electrification programme aims at ensuring equitable distribution of resources in the electrification of the rural areas.

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