Un­denge blasts food out­lets for us­ing oil from trans­form­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Patrick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bureau Chief

THE gov­ern­ment is con­cerned that oil from elec­tric­ity trans­form­ers is be­ing stolen and used by some fast food out­lets for cook­ing pur­poses.

The Min­is­ter of En­ergy and Power De­vel­op­ment, Dr Sa­muel Un­denge, said peo­ple should be on the look-out for food out­lets that were us­ing the oil.

He said this while ad­dress­ing hun­dreds of vil­lagers and Ru­ral Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Fund (REF) of­fi­cials dur­ing the com­mis­sion­ing of Mataruse Ward B1 vil­lage and Ru­u­raugwi Pri­mary School elec­tri­fi­ca­tion project in Mberengwa East con­stituency on Thurs­day.

“Thieves are steal­ing oil from our trans­form­ers for sale to peo­ple who run fast-food out­lets in the coun­try. This is a cause for con­cern for the gov­ern­ment be­cause the oil is not for hu­man con­sump­tion. We urge peo­ple to be on the look­out and avoid con­sum­ing such chips,” said the Min­is­ter. The oil, Dr Un­denge said was on de­mand as it was also be­ing sold to mo­torists for use as a fuel blender. Turn­ing to the is­sue of elec­tric­ity, Dr Un­denge said the Mberengwa East projects were very unique. “This is a unique project in that it is a mas­sive com­mu­nity ini­ti­ated project un­der which 20 vil­lages, two busi­ness cen­tres and a school in Mataruse Ward B1 were able to come to­gether and mo­bilise re­sources to have their homes, busi­ness cent res and a school elec­tri­fied un­der the Ru­ral Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme,” he said.

Dr Un­denge said the fund which was es­tab­lished in 2002 has so far elec­tri­fied 8 662 ru­ral in­sti­tu­tions coun­try­wide us­ing both grid and so­lar tech­nolo­gies.

“In Mid­lands prov­ince alone, the REF has elec­tri­fied 893 in­sti­tu­tions of which 101 are in Mberengwa Dis­trict. Pro­vi­sion of elec­tric­ity in the area will no doubt lead to the em­pow­er­ment of our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, ca­pac­ity build­ing and em­ploy­ment cre­ation,” he said.

Mberengwa East MP Cde Makhosini Hlong­wane said the project be­gan dur­ing the Zim­babwe dol­lar era.

“This is the be­gin­ning of de­vel­op­ment in our area. The avail­abil­ity elec­tric­ity means you can start small busi­ness such as weld­ing for the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try,” said Cde Hlong­wane, who is also the Min­is­ter of Sport and Recre­ation.

-@pchi­tumba1

Dr Sa­muel Un­denge

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