BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
RESIDENTS, businesspeople and regional transporters at Chirundu Border Post have gone for three weeks without electricity due to a faulty transformer.
The transformer was hit by lightning three weeks ago. It feeds part of the border town, including the Chirundu local clinic.
The affected areas include the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority offices, clearing agencies, companies and the Chirundu shopping centre.
Chirundu Local Board secretary Wilson Gune said the power outage had affected the free movement of regional transport, mainly from South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“This has affected movement of regional transport that keeps the border town busy. We have suffered a lot in terms of financial generation as our customers and suppliers are not coming through since the refrigerators are not working. As a local board, we have lost potential revenue,” he said.
“Added to this challenge is that most clearing agencies have been caught unawares by this as they thought it was a minor issue that could be rectified within a few days, but it’s now more than three weeks.’
Nation Mawere, a clearing agent, said: “We are operating in darkness while this must be a one-stop border post. The Zesa transformer has not been repaired. A majority of clearing agencies are now using generators to operate.”
Zesa Holdings acting spokesperson Prisca Utete confirmed the power outage.
“The power outage that has affected Chirundu border town was due to a faulty transformer that has since been replaced. Our technical team is the process of installing it in an effort to improve on service delivery to the affected customers. It has been ensured that while this transformer is being installed, all affected essential and strategic points such as the border post are functional,” she said.
“We are also exploring the possibility of establishing a fully-fledged (Zesa) depot in Chirundu in the medium to long term to ensure that the turnaround period or response times to customer queries are improved.”
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