Africa > East Africa > Zambia > Zambia: Ndola in Power Blackout

Zambia: Zambia: Ndola in Power Blackout

2017/07/07

Additional than 10,000 households have been plunged into darkness next an extra case of suspected sabotage on Zesco lines by unknown people in Ndola on the Copperbelt.

The affected areas include Mushili, Kansenshi, Hillcreast and several surrounding areas and are still without power following the damage on Saturday.

This is similar to the case in Kafue, where unknown people brought down two Zesco pylons on the 330-kilovolt transmission line running from Kafue West to the Lusaka West substation via the South

Multi-Facility Economic Zone.

The damage resulted in power disruption in several areas, inclunding some parts of the Copperbelt and North-Western Province.

Zesco spokesperson Henry Kapata and Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo were at the scene yesterday to check on the damage.

Mr Kapata said two major cables tapping power from the Pamodzi substation and supplying to residential areas were uprooted and some cables stolen.

He said it was disappointing that the power utility company was spending additional money on replacing the vandalised installations instead of investing in new infrastructure to boost power supply.

"We received a call around 02:00 hours that there were some unknown people tampering with the Zesco installations. What has been tampered with here are two cables that supply two major residential areas in Mushili, Hillcrest, Kansenshi and the surrounding areas, leaving these areas in total darkness," Mr Kapata said.

He said it was embarrassing and disappointing to note that people were doing that even at the same time as there were visitors attending the Zambia International Trade equitable (ZITF).

Mr Kapata said Zesco personnel were working on the damage, but could not exactly national at the same time as power would be fully restored.

He said most lodges inclunding the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, were part those affected.

Mr Kapata said the police and Zesco workers were on the ground and would ensure the culprits were arrested.

He said sabotaging was a critical offence and attracted a minimum jail sentence of 20 years at the same time as one was found guilty.

Mr Lusambo expressed disappointed over the lawless conduct of the people behind the act.

"As a minister on the Copperbelt I am very annoyed and disappointed with what has happened. What I can advise these criminals is that let us do politics in the political field and ensure we protect the infrastructure as it belongs to everyone and not only the Patriotic Front (PF) members," he said.

Meanwhile, a driver, Joseph Kalyocha has been sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour by the Ndola magistrates' court for diverting and selling imported Zesco poles worth US$13,850 million.

Mr Kapata said Zesco imported the poles from Zimbabwe and South Africa destined to be distributed in Ndola at the same time as Kalyocha diverted and sold the poles.

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