Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Hundreds march through Bulawayo to protest ZESA failures

Hundreds march through Bulawayo to protest ZESA failures

Tichaona Sibanda
27 October 2011

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Bulawayo on Thursday, 
venting their anger at the country’s utility company ZESA, for its catalogue 
of failures that have impacted so badly on residents

Demonstrators hoisted signs and chanted: ‘ZESA is raping us,’ ‘No ZESA No 
money.’ Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us the mood seemed 
one of exuberance, not rage, and police who shadowed the march made no 
effort to interfere.

The march was organized by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association 
whose members have inundated them with complaints over power outages and 
huge bills. ZESA is also being castigated for disconnecting power from 
almost 70 percent of the city’s households.

The residents association handed over petitions to ZESA, its board and the 
Ministry of Energy, demanding that action be taken urgently to rectify 
failing standards at the utility company.

‘The residents are angry that the failure by ZESA to provide adequate power 
has impacted negatively on industry, health, environment, education. Crime 
has gone up, especially at night time when victims are pounced upon in dark 
areas. Most of the time there is no electricity at various industries in the 
city forcing many companies to lay off workers. What surprises the residents 
is that at the end of the month they still get huge bills, when half the 
time they go for hours without power,’ Saungweme said.

Some of the demands from the residents are the return of the city’s thermal 
power station to the ownership of the people of Bulawayo and compensation 
for all those whose property was damaged by power surges.

‘The residents want ZESA to reduce its load shedding and adhere to load 
shedding schedules and they’ve also asked the company to work on its flawed 
billing system and stop estimating bills,’ Saungweme added.


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