Vandalism Forces ZESA To Install Geo-tracking Sensors And Cameras On Transformers

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Hwange ZESA

ZESA has decided to install sensors and cameras so as to curb the rampant vandalism of its infrastructure. About this development, ZESA Enterprises Burutsa Mandipezano said:

We want to support the Government by ensuring that every transformer in the country will have a tracking chip that can be tracked if a transformer is stolen.

We will also set up hidden cameras that will take pictures of thieves and people who vandalise transformers because the rate of vandalism is worrisome.

If you consider that the company is losing something like 3 transformers a single night, it’s justified to try out these measures in order to put this costly problem to bed.

In monetary terms, the vandalism of ZESA’s infrastructure has cost it at least $20 million. Instead of having to connect new people to the electric grid, ZESA is having to channel the money channel to replace the vandalised infrastructure.

Effectiveness in deterring vandalism

Camera’s are obviously for capturing the physical identity of the criminals (and how they are carrying out the vandalism so as to guard against it) and sensors are for geo-tracking the equipment thieves would have stolen.

Evidently, cameras and sensors are not necessarily for preventing thieves to steal ZESA’s infrastructure, instead, they are for ‘catching’ the thieves. So perhaps after a good number of criminals are caught, the technology will start to act as a deterrent to criminals, who will now know that they will get caught.

I guess the initial (before cameras and sensors play their part) preventive action Zesa should do is “ring-fencing the transformers using spikes so that it becomes difficult for thieves to get in and steal” as Burutsa Mandipezano.



  1. Alfred Ncube

    As the economy shrinks, more people will be forced to resort to such criminal behaviours to survive. Its sad. These are poverty crimes

  2. Comrades

    why later than soon?

  3. Kanyi

    It’s sad that our government has failed us and youths have to resort to crimes to feed. African governments need to sit up and do better for its citizens.

  4. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    For some of the costs they claim to incur, ZESA can afford to have a full-time guard at every transformer. It’s, a low-tech option, but effective for their purposes. Given that these thefts are most probably inside jobs, putting a camera or tracker will be a waste of money. Trackers will be removed at the scene of the crime, whilst cameras will be mysteriously out of order on the day of a theft.

    Someone is going to make a killing supplying trackers and cameras, then supplying the replacements, and replacements for the replacements in a never-ending gravy train.

  5. Purple

    First will come the thief targeting to get the camera, and tracking device. Then after that come s the transformer vandal

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