Swift ZESA Response in Malborough Highlights Service Disparities

ZESA's Rapid Response in Malborough Raises Questions on Regional Service Inequality

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) demonstrated an unexpectedly swift response to a fallen power line incident in Malborough, raising questions about service disparities in different regions. Social commentator Tawona ‘Knight’ Shadaya remarked on the efficiency of the response, contrasting it with the typically slower service in more densely populated and rural areas like Chitungwiza.

On a recent Saturday, a power line fell along a street in Malborough, close to Harare Drive. The incident saw pylons and wires collapsing onto a residential fence, posing a significant risk to the local community. In response, ZESA technicians reportedly arrived on the scene within 45 minutes of the call, impressing local residents with their quick action and professionalism. The crew worked diligently to repair the damage, restoring the pylons and restringing the overhead wires in a surprisingly short time.

The residents of Malborough expressed their shock and appreciation for ZESA’s prompt and efficient handling of the situation. This response has restored some faith in the power utility’s ability to manage emergencies effectively, raising hopes for improved service delivery in the future.

However, the incident has highlighted notable discrepancies in service response times across different areas. In places like Warren Park 1, Dzivarasekwa Extension, and other densely populated regions, power outages often last for weeks without any intervention from technicians. This disparity was pointed out by Shadaya, who noted that the prompt response in Malborough might not have been replicated had the incident occurred in Chitungwiza.

Chitungwiza, originally an informal settlement for black workers during the colonial era, has grown into an urban area housing over 400,000 residents. Despite its development, the area has been largely neglected, with residents frequently experiencing prolonged power outages and slow response times to electrical faults.

While ZESA’s response in Malborough has been commendable, the incident has sparked a conversation about the need for equitable service delivery across all regions. The utility is reportedly in talks to import power, with supplies expected next year, as part of its efforts to improve electricity availability.

The recent event in Malborough serves as a reminder of the varying levels of service provided by ZESA in different areas of Zimbabwe. It underscores the importance of striving for consistent and equitable service delivery to all communities, regardless of their location or population density.

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