Matobo power cuts: Bodies rot in mortuary, business at standstill

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

MATOBO Proportional Representation legislator Rosy Mpofu (Zanu PF) on Tuesday said the district has been without electricity for weeks due to load-shedding, poor maintenance and vandalism of Zesa Holdings equipment, which has put lives of patients admitted at the local hospital at risk.

Businesspeople at Maphisa and Kezi business centres have also been counting their losses after losing perishables, while women were giving birth under candle light and corpses reportedly rotting in the mortuary at Maphisa District Hospital.

The health institution is now refusing to store bodies for fear that they would rot, as it cannot run generators due to budget constraints.

“There’s always no electricity. When we inquired from Zesa they sometimes tell us it’s load-shedding. But how can load-shedding last for weeks on end? We have also discovered that their utility poles are not strong and they are always falling. We ask them to put stronger poles to prevent these constant power cuts,” Mpofu told Southern Eye on Tuesday.

“Bodies are rotting at the district mortuary and at the maternity ward, women are giving birth under candle light. The situation is dire. However, the government is trying its best under difficult circumstances.”

Matabeleland South provincial medical director Rudo Chikodzore yesterday said she would make a follow-up.

“I will make a follow-up on the issue. I haven’t yet received a report,” she said.

Zesa Holdings spokesperson Fullard Gwasira yesterday said the parastatal was making frantic efforts to make sure that its customers get power.

“These are maintenance issues which are an ongoing process. In the rainy season, we have a high number of poles which fall due to weather conditions. However, our teams are always on the ground to make sure that the problems are rectified. At times, our teams get overwhelmed as it takes long to restore power, but it’s our thrust that we attend to faults on time and have our customers serviced as soon as possible,” he said.

Elsewhere, a power cut caused by the vandalism of transmission lines forced St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane to suspend surgical operations and close its mortuary three weeks ago.

Power had not yet been restored at the time of going to print last night.

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