Telco Worker Dies After Being Electrocuted On Duty. Why Is There Silence About This, Should Such Things Happen?

Posted by Read 13 Comments

In an unfortunate incident, two Telco (The internet access provider) workers in Victoria Falls were electrocuted whilst on duty. The two, Victor Zulu and Rector Msipha were on duty and had been deployed to install a Wi-Fi modem and it was during this installation that the accident occurred.

What happened?

In an attempt to install a Wi-Fi modem, it is believed Rector Msipha and Victor Zulu climbed up a mango tree to push a 4-metre aluminium pole in order to mount the Wi-Fi device. Unfortunately this same tree is under overhead electrical cables. The pole made contact with these cables and

A quick thinking local rushed to the nearest transformer and tripped power. Unfortunately Mr Msipha had already suffered severe burns to his arm and face. The shirt he was wearing had also been burnt to a crisp. Both Msipha and Zulu (now unconscious) were rushed to Vic Falls District Hospital but unfortunately Msipha was confirmed dead upon arrival at the Hospital.

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Zulu – still unconscious- was rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital and later transferred to Mater Dei Hospital where he is still admitted. Mr Zulu barely escaped as he was thrown of by shock when the electric cable contacted.

Were the guys trained?

One would assume that if these guys were trained adequately they would have steered clear of an electric cable, for reasons known to all of us. Now I’m not saying the guys are not trained but we would not need to assume anything if Telco had responded to our communication.

Hang on, why the silence?

The fact that two workers died whilst on duty should be a huge deal but thus far there has been very little coverage on the issue. This incident resulted in the loss of life and I feel it is being taken way too lightly

Recently we’ve seen doctors striking which also led to loss of lives but in typical fashion, this was not treated with the urgency it deserved.

In countries like the US both of these issues would have made headlines and prompted civil activists to act and try to get to the bottom of the issues

We reached out to Telco…

We sent an email to Telco via their support page asking questions to get a better grasp of the situations. We enquired on what exactly happened, the affected workers training level, if there was negligence on Telcos part, and lastly a comment from them on the situation.

We gave them a time-line to respond as we would have liked to publish the story with a full bearing on what transpired but alas we got no response from them.

Same story with POTRAZ

To POTRAZ we posed the questions;

  • Is it clear there was no negligence on the employers part?
  • What is your comment on the situation?

Lo and behold no response either.

The Media should get serious when it comes to these issues

I think it is high time we start taking issues relating to loss of lives much more seriously and give full coverage on such issues as accountability is vital. If Telco are in the wrong they should be put to the book for it, and likewise if the workers were careless let it be known.

We should not be assuming and reaching conclusions like we are being forced to. Not in the ‘information age.’

Mater Dei HospitalMpilo Central HospitalPOTRAZ

Mater Dei Hospital is a hospital in Bulawayo and owned by a Board of Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church. The hospital offers paediatricians, surgery, casualty, Intensive Care Unit and x-ray. Read More About Mater Dei Hospital

Mpilo Central Hospital is the largest hospital in Bulawayo and the second largest hospital in Zimbabwe. The Name Mpilo means Life in the Ndebele language. Mpilo is a public hospital. Read More About Mpilo Central Hospital

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe POTRAZ) is the regulatory authority of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector and was established in terms of the country's Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05. POTRAZ was established in February 2001 Read More About POTRAZ

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13 Comments

  1. umsotho says:

    It’s unfortunate that you think you are “forced” to assume. No one “forced” you or the readers to jump to conclusions. The website where the story broke last week never assumed anything but here you are , with your righteous indignation. Don’t try to seek attention with a serious issue like this, someone is fighting for their life. You say this is serious, yet you seek information about it using a support page. Gutter journalism, sit down and locate your chill.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa says:

      The website where the story broke did not question the accepted truth, which is what we are trying to do. Yes, you may feel this is gutter journalism – you are entitled to your opinion- but I will continue asking these questions until I (and we as Techzim) have a clear picture of what happened, why it happened and how it can be avoided going forward.

  2. Me Myself says:

    Contact NSSA as well

    1. Farai Mudzingwa says:

      Thanks had completely overlooked that

      1. wokenman says:

        So it is indeed GUTTER JOURNALISM – how do you “overlook” NSSA the main authority dealing with issues like this. The first commenter is vindicated. You know where Telco’s offices are as well (well at least you should if you call yourself a “tech” blog) so an email through their support page I’m sorry THAT’S JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Did you try to actually CALL and get an email address for a more important person. A simple phone call – did you efforts stretch that far? And i imagine Techzim is not a one man show – nobody else who saw the article before going live thought about NSSA??? Come on now, this is extreme laziness and incompetence. On an issues that is so important the memory of the unfortunate deceased man deserves better that to have his name published on such a poor piece of writing.

  3. Tinashe says:

    I think Farai will be happy if he sees someone in jail for this. You will be happy right?

  4. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

    You are trying to write a noble article, but bringing too few facts to the table. Did they see the cables? Could the cables have been obscured by the tree? Hinting at a possible lack of training shows your presumptive finger of blame pointing towards the company. Accidents happen, even to trained and experienced personnel. But, because they were on duty you feel somehow someone must be held accountable, absent the relevant facts.

    There are better channels to contact a company for a comment professionally. It’s called support page for a reason, your query is not support related and that department may or may not have escalated you query. It’s still not a support issue, and I don’t think they were supposed to do your footwork.

    And, surely, you can’t expect Potraz to have fully investigated the incident whilst the surviving individual is in critical care. The survivor is the most knowledgeable about what exactly transpired. Especially where a life has been lost, it is in their interest to investigate properly.

  5. Fusion says:

    First of all these workers lack common sense and are careless… You can’t blame the company… I’ve seen this countless of times..
    You give a worker a mask for protection… During inspections they wear… Outside those times they are off… Don’t sensationalise the story

  6. Anonymous999 says:

    Farai, you just interested in your name being published next to the story and a fat pay cheque for covering it. Meanwhile a family has lost a bread winner and another man is fighting for his life.

  7. Sagitarr says:

    It is always a good test of the management muscle/calibre and ethics of a company when it faces a tragedy of this magnitude. Nobody owes them anything – they should act quickly to avoid speculation. In short this is called the “moment of truth” and that “truth” involves the public judging management by their reaction or silence. What do they lose if they issue a statement to acknowledge the disaster and indicate investigations are on-going? People love to brag about being MDs, CEOs etc and when a situation arises for them to show their integrity (or management or communication skills) they melt into anonymity – this is dereliction of duty aka abdication, and it is not excusable.

  8. Squire Tolman says:

    In every job when you want to work if you have adequate safety standard operating procedures you can first do a risk assessment before you start work and how to mitigate them.had they been training on this there is no way they could have been electrocuted.But on another note more often than note i have come across employees who disregard safety procedures for no sensible reason.

  9. chrismberi says:

    Here, in this article, is where I’m witnessing, first hand the spectator analyst syndrome that we have in Zimbabwe. No firsthand information yet you managed to build a story and people are debating on your speculation. What I can advice is go to Telco offices. Two people directly involved can’t speak so your conclusions are baseless and you feeling entitled to a reply on an email via a support page on a matter of this magnitude is pure arrogance.. I’ve just deleted some profanity. Maybe you could just highlight how best we can improve our workmanship. The silence you hear is because you’re in the office and the people directly involved are out there trying to save a life…

    1. Farai Mudzingwa says:

      Haha! Thanks for your feedback Chris, I have learnt my lesson… Going forward, I will desist from the “spectator analyst syndrome”

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