Zesa should set up a commission of inquiry

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THE family of Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) electrician Clinton Mhlanga, who was electrocuted while servicing a 33-kilovolt transformer in Collen Bawn last week on Friday, suspects foul play in his death.

In fact, laymen have labelled his death “murder”, pointing accusing fingers at the ZETDC amid allegations there was bad blood between the late Mhlanga and his immediate superiors.

It is alleged he had been demanding a transfer from his work station in Gwanda owing to acrimony between him and his superiors, giving credence to the Mhlanga family suspicions that he could have been sabotaged.

This newspaper reported yesterday that some of Mhlanga’s colleagues had come forward and informed the family of a longstanding dispute between Mhlanga and his principals dating back to 2008.

Mhlanga is said to have requested to be transferred, but was continuously turned down. Speaking at Mhlanga’s burial at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo on Tuesday, his uncle Atlas Moyo said it looked like ZETDC had something to hide.

“You saw it for yourselves, we gave his employers an opportunity to say what happened, but all of them ran away; this is very bad,” Moyo said. “Some of his friends told us that our son was never in good books with his manager and he applied for a transfer and was denied. So what should we do as a family?” Moyo said.

He also said when they phoned Mhlanga’s boss in Gwanda, he kept cutting the phone.

This is highly sensitive. ZETDC has maintained its silence over the issue. Others who claim to be in the know allege the death could have been a case of negligence on the part of the employee.

There are claims he flouted safety regulations by among other things not wearing safety belts and failing to earth a live busbur as he was changing D-mounts set of the 33kv transformer. This is stuff for the experts to determine.

There are two sides to a story, so they say in journalism.

ZEDTC should immediately set up a commission of inquiry to determine what really transpired. The family demands an answer because a precious life has been lost.

A probe would go a long way in debunking the rumours surrounding the unfortunate death of Mhlanga, more so when another employee is battling for his life at a local private hospital after being electrocuted while at work.

Nothing short of a full commission of enquiry would be scandalous and has the potential of exposing the public entity to litigation. The ducking and diving does not help anyone if ZETDC is to avoid such unnecessary loss of life.