Transformer oil thief electrocuted in Harare

An unidentified man was electrocuted in the early hours of yesterday while attempting to steal oil from a Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) substation in Glen View’s Area 8.

The incident occurred near a house along Fourth Circle.

An unidentified thief was electrocuted while attempting to drain oil from a ZESA transformer at Glen View sub-station in Harare yesterday morning. -(Picture by Tariro Kamangira)
An unidentified thief was electrocuted while attempting to drain oil from a ZESA transformer at Glen View sub-station in Harare yesterday morning. -(Picture by Tariro Kamangira)

One of the residents, Mr Alexander Pote, who was first to arrive at the scene, said he heard noise from the substation at around 2am and went out to investigate.

“I heard about two explosions before a neighbour shouted that there was a thief outside,” he said.

“I went outside to check on the explosions and I heard a voice coming from inside the substation and as I opened to check, I saw him being electrocuted before catching fire. I immediately notified the police and ZETDC authorities.”

ZETDC chief loss control officer Mr Rangenos Chihanga said they had received notification of electrical disturbances prior to the incident.

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“What happened is that during the night, our loss control staff received a notification of electrical disturbances and then rushed to the scene and discovered that a male adult was already inside a substation and had been electrocuted,” he said.

ZETDC risk management officer (Harare Region) Mr John Rugwaro said it was unfortunate that there were some consumers who decided to vandalise State property for personal gain.

“It is unfortunate a lot of people have been electrocuted while attempting to vandalise or steal transformers or electricity infrastructure from our network. It is very regrettable that we had to witness loss of life as a result of such acts,” he said.

Since January, ZETDC has lost about $1,6 million worth of transformers.

Mr Rugwaro said a lot of time and money effort was invested to ensure that transformers were secured as part of ZETDC’s security measures.

“In certain neighbourhoods, we have customers who have gone a step further by putting some barrier around our equipment to ensure that what we have put in place is tamper-proof. This helps ensure that consumers have uninterrupted access to power,” he said.

He urged the public to notify ZETDC of any suspicious movements around substations in their neighbourhoods.-herald