Electrocuted man sues ZETDC


HARARE – A Zvishavane man who lost an arm after being electrocuted is now demanding $80 000 in damages from Zesa Holdings’ subsidiary Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

The man, Tapiwa Mavenga, has filed a High Court application against the power distribution company.

It is alleged that the incident took place in January 2010, when ZETDC’s electricity cable that connects to Pakame Mission School hung across a public footpath.

During the same month, the court heard, Mavenga walked along the footpath and accidentally came into contact with the naked cable and was electrocuted.

In his application, Mavenga told the court that ZETDC acted negligently in that it failed to keep a constant check, maintenance and repair of its electricity transmission line.

“Defendant (ZETDC) failed in its duty to protect the public against exposure to naked high voltage electricity emissions from the power lines by failing or neglecting to repair a broken electricity cable,” said Mavenga.

According to court papers, as a result of the electrocution, Mavenga sustained high voltage burns on the left hand, scalp, buttocks and posterior trunk.

Mavenga was admitted at Harare Central Hospital for two months and his left hand was amputated.
He is now claiming $81 394.

ZETDC, however, hit back on Mavenga’s claims and said it was not negligent in any way since its power lines are constantly maintained. ZETDC further said no report of a broken power line had been made.

“The Plaintiff (Mavenga) was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout whilst using a footpath that was close to the power lines,” ZETDC said in its papers.

“The Defendant has at all times made pronouncements and adverts at various platforms and through various mediums to warn and protect the public against the dangers of walking beneath power lines and therefore, the Plaintiff’s disregard for the warnings were reckless and negligent on his own part,” said ZETDC.
Tendai Kamhungira

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