ZESA Ordered To Compensate Electrocution Victim
9 October 2023
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State-run power utility, ZESA Holdings, has forked out more than US$19 000 as compensation for damages to a minor child, who was electrocuted and sustained severe electrical burns owing to gross negligence by the electricity supplier.

The 13 year-old minor child was left nursing extensive injuries to his
right upper limbs including permanent and irreversible injuries, which he suffered due to electrocution in April 2019 while medical doctors estimated his impairment percentage at 20 percent.

The minor child’s parents were assisted by Kevin Kabaya and Tatenda Sigauke of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who on 16 September 2022, wrote a letter of demand to Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, demanding payment amounting to more than US$19 000 as compensation for
damages suffered by the 13 year-old child.

The minor child was electrocuted by some exposed electricity cables,
which were left hanging dangerously low and within reach of people at his parents’ residence in Penhalonga in Manicaland province.

As a result of the accident, the child suffered severe electrical burns.

In their letter to ZETDC, Kabaya and Sigauke told the power company that it was liable for the unfortunate accident, which was caused by negligence on the part of its employees, who negligently left exposed electrical cables in a residential area, thereby endangering vulnerable children.

Recently, ZETDC through its insurers Cell Insurance, advised and shared proof of a payment transaction report to Kabaya and Sigauke showing that it had deposited ZWL92 679 793, which is equivalent to US$19 658 into the bank account of the minor child’s parents after it accepted the minor child’s claim and liability for the damages which he suffered from the electrocution.

ZLHR intervened in assisting the minor child as part of its anti-impunity strategies to foster accountability at the country’s
supplier of electricity and to deter and discourage acts of human
rights violations by state-run institutions.

ZLHR has previously intervened in similar cases of ZESA Holdings’
negligence, which shows the dangerous levels of carelessness
prevailing at the state-run power utility and which in some instances
have resulted in deaths and injuries to several people across the country.