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Electrocuted boy gets just a coffin from Zesa

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Electrocuted boy gets just a coffin from Zesa



SHURUGWI – A 10-year-old boy electrocuted by a fallen Zesa powerline could only get a coffin from the power company leaving the family saddled with more than US$2 000 debts in hospitalization, transport and other logistic costs.
The mother of the child, Dell Sakambeni who spoke to The Mirror said she was appealing to the parastatal to assist with costs as the family borrowed money from friends and relatives that need to be paid back.

Kudakwashe Njaravaza was electrocuted two weeks ago while running after a stray beast. Njaravaza attends Grade 3 at Imbali Primary School in Shurugwi but had gone to Chivi for the school holidays when the incident happened. It was evening and he fell into a Zesa line that was lying close to the ground. It is alleged that Zesa had not attended to fallen power lines since December last year.

Zesa chief public relations officer, Prisca Utete asked for written questions to her WhatsApp but she did not respond.
ZESA General Manager George Manyaya said he was going to look into the matter.
“I am driving now, I will look into how the case was handled,” he said before hanging up.

An analyst who declined to be named said that Zesa had gotten away with such cases of negligence too many times and the company needed to be sued so that there is deterrence against its negligence.

Martin Mureri, a lawyer for the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights described Zesa’s negligence and failure to provide compensation to the aggrieved family as an act of human rights abuse. He also said the parastatal’s behavior shows lack of remorse.

Njaravaza was buried last week at RB Cemetery in Shurugwi.
“We are appealing to Zesa to compensate or assist with the costs incurred during hospitalization, transportation and other logistics to do with the boy.

“We are in serious debt with a number of people as a result of the incident that befell my child. Relatives and friends landed us money to transport the boy from Chiredzi Hospital to Harare. We went through all this because we hoped that the child will live,” said Sakambeni.

On the fateful day the deceased went to herd cattle and he lost a calf. He teamed up with his elder brothers aged 11 and 13 to search for the calf and it ran away when they came across it.
The deceased pursued it and bumped into the low hanging electric cables and was electrocuted and fell to the ground.
“As Human Rights lawyers, we condemn such abuse. It is prudent for the national power utility company to provide adequate compensation to the aggrieved family.

“Buying a coffin is obviously not enough. The power lines belong to Zesa and the company exhibited clear negligence resulting in the electrocution of an innocent boy,” said Mureri.
He said Zesa must be required to expeditiously attend to fallen electrical power lines.

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