Hwange residents up in arms with NRZ

Source: Hwange residents up in arms with NRZ | Sunday News (local news)

Fairness Moyana in Hwange
RESIDENTS of Raylton suburb in Hwange are up in arms with the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) which they accuse of arbitrary electricity disconnections without notice to replace copper cables with aluminum.

The development has seen some residents going for six weeks without power after NRZ switched them off.

The suburb is also dogged by water shortages with most households having gone for more than 15 years without the precious liquid.

The affected residents have since approached the courts and obtained a protection order stopping the company from proceeding with power disconnections.

Speaking during a heated residents feedback meeting last week, some expressed anger, arguing that NRZ was infringing on their rights by denying them electricity.

“I have gone for a month without electricity after NRZ switched me off without warning or consultation. My livelihood has been greatly affected because of that.

‘‘We now rely on firewood for cooking which is not readily available forcing us to buy charcoal which is expensive.

‘‘My children have been facing challenges during studies,” said a woman at the meeting.
Residents say authorities moved into the area through a contractor without giving them warning or time to prepare and switched them off arguing they  wanted to replace copper cables with aluminum.

Residents said efforts to engage with the company management had been futile.  The 120 residents are part of  people who bought houses from the company.

The residents through their lawyer, Mr Gerald Musengi of Mvhiringi and Associates sought a court order to stop what they described as “human rights violations”.

According to the ruling passed by a Hwange magistrate in which 37 residents sued NRZ, the latter was ordered to stop replacing the copper lines as well as electricity disconnections.

“A rule nisi is hereby granted by this honourable court on the 27th day of October 2021.

‘Respondent be and is hereby interdicted from tampering with infrastructure for the supply of electricity from all applicants’ premises on the basis of disputed  electricity bills in the absence of any order of court.

‘Respondent and all its employees be and are hereby interdicted from interfering whatsoever with disrupting or terminating applicant’s electricity supply through removal of copper cables without the authority of a court order,” read the ruling in part.