By Conrad Mupesa
Farmers have been urged to jealously guard electricity transformers and power lines from vandals as the nation focuses on putting 80 000 hectares under winter wheat.
The call was made by the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development Magna Mudyiwa during the Winter Wheat and Traditional Grain Launch at Farm 15 in Makonde district’s Chitomborwizi area.
He said although her ministry had prioritised unlimited power supplies in wheat growing areas, farmers efforts were, however, going to bring meaningful results if they play custodian roles to the transformers and power lines.
She said the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) was attending to the maintenance and repairs of electrical faults at farms that are growing wheat.
“Cases of vandalism and theft have become a cause for concern around most farming areas and as we are geared towards achieving the set target of 80 000 hectares to be placed under wheat, I would want to encourage farmers to safeguard transformers and power lines from theft and vandalism,” Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said.
She said efforts were also being made to amend the Electricity Act so that people who tamper with electricity infrastructure get stiffer sentences of at least 30 years or more.
“We are currently importing about 370 megawatts to augment Kariba and Hwange generating capacities thus, farmers who still owe ZETDC should engage the power utility for payment plans,” she said.