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Residents complain over demolition of “iconic” Bulawayo cooling towers

Bulawayo residents this morning expressed their dismay over the failure by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to consult City Fathers over the planned demolition of two cooling towers in ZPC’s thermal station in Bulawayo.

By Duduzile Mathema

Residents cited that the cooling towers are a symbol of heritage and have contributed to the rich history of the city’s identity defined with the words “Kontuthuziyathunqa.”

Bulawayo City Council Mayor, His Worship Solomon Mguni at an address that was conducted at the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), earlier today.

Out of the six towers, ZPC plans to demolish two of the towers which show visible cracks and holes as a result of aging. The towers were constructed in 1947 with a design life of 40 years and were decommissioned in 1989.

During the all stakeholder meeting, Bulawayo Mayor, His Worship Solomon Mguni expressed distaste over the failure by Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to consult the city fathers on the planned demolition of two cooling towers which “had become a symbol of heritage and history for the city.”

Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi condemned ZPC for its failure to consult relevant stakeholders.

“ZPC failed to consult either Bulawayo City Council (BCC) or the Minister of State over the demolition project that would impact on the City as a whole,” said Chasi.

Minister Chasi cited that he will arrange a meeting with Residents Associations in Bulawayo so as to clarify the issue of the demolition of the cooling towers.

In a side interview, Bulawayo Ward 17 Councilor Sikhululekile Moyo said she is moved as a local leader over the decision that ZPC chose to make without consulting BCC.

“This shows that ZPC undermines Bulawayo residents as a collective, which is a reflection of disrespect,” said Councilor Moyo. “They claim to have consulted residents and key stakeholders over the matter, but we were not consulted,” she said.

Bulawayo Power Station hardly contributes to the 9000 MW required by the country to meet its Middle-Income Status by 2030.

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Ward Councilors walked out of the meeting following their disapproval over the demolition of the cooling towers.

 

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