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ZESA Pays US$15k Compensation To Electrocution Victim

A minor child who was electrocuted has been awarded damages totalling US$15,000 by Zimbabwe’s ZESA Holdings, the country’s power utility.

Due to inexcusable negligence on the part of ZESA’s electricity distribution subsidiary, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), the 13-year-old sustained severe electrical burns.

The horrific incident happened in April 2019, when a 13-year-old boy was electrocuted by some exposed electricity cables that were left hanging precariously close to his home in Penhalonga in the province of Manicaland.

The incident caused severe electrical burns, including permanent and irreversible damage, to the child’s right upper limbs.

The medical professionals who cared for the minor in April 2019 estimated that he had a 20% functional loss.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) got involved after the terrible accident to help the family get compensation from ZESA.

The family received assistance from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Kevin Kabaya. The attorney sent ZETDC a letter of demand on September 16, 2022, requesting US$15,000 in restitution for the 13-year-old’s losses.

Kabaya informed ZETDC that it was accountable for the tragic incident that was caused by staff members’ carelessness and irresponsibility in endangering young children by leaving electrical lines exposed.

ZESA has since agreed to pay the compensation in full following the letter from Kabaya.

In an update, ZLHR said,

“Now, ZETDC through its insurers Cell Insurance, recently advised Kabaya that it had accepted the minor child’s claim and would pay him US$15 000 as compensation 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.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that ZESA has been forced to pay compensation to victims of accidents caused by negligence.

In July 2021, the company was fined $280 000 after a 13-year-old girl was electrocuted at Movern Farm in Chegutu after she came into contact with a low-hanging 11kV conductor.

Last year, three learners from Kweneng Primary School in Mangwe, Matabeleland South, were electrocuted by collapsed electricity cables in an incident that villagers blame on ZESA’s negligence.

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