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Prolonged Power Blackout Too Costly For Vumba Tourism

The hospitality industry in the mountainous region of Vumba, Manicaland province is accumulating losses by the day as progress in restoring electricity supply by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company’s (ZETDC) is slow-paced, 263Chat Business has learnt.

A power outage on 1 December last year has kept the eastern highlands tourism hub in the dark for over 2 months now with some areas only receiving power supply last week after missing out on the tourism peak period of December.

ZETDC blamed the power outage on vandalism of its infrastructure as well as the trees that make up the thick forests in the area falling on polls due to heavy rainfall.

“Areas affected by this fault include Vumba, Burma Valley, Fern Valley and Zimunya. The utility wishes to update the public that the extent of the fault as follows, 5 km of 11kv line feeding the said areas was stolen. The area experienced numerous faults caused by heavy rains and 123 poles fell down and need to be replaced,” said ZETDC.

But players in the hospitality sector are bemoaning lost business.

“Its very bad for business. It is a very big inconvenience for business,” said Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) president, Brian Nyakutombwa.

“Imagine running generators all day and night. National utility providers should change their attitude and should not hold businesses to ransom.”

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Some players who spoke to 263Chat Business, said power supply is being gradually restored but the damage has already been done after enduring two months without electricity and missing out on peak tourist period of December.

They however said it would be rushed to quantify in monetary terms the losses incurred as some hospitality players are still in the dark.

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