Congolese living in Mokambo Town near Zambia’s Copperbelt Province have rioted over Zesco Limited’s reported decision to cut power supply to their locality over nonpayment of bills.
The rioting Congolese on Monday morning stoned a Nakonde-bound bus belonging to Power Tools Logistics on Pedicle Road near Mufulira.
Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer Sharon Zulu has confirmed that the bus had its rear windscreen shattered by stone-throwing Congolese who also burnt tyres on Pedicle Road.
Ms. Zulu said so far the situation has calmed down and no casualties have been recorded apart from the reported damage caused to the bus.
She said facts on the ground are that Zesco, who had been supplying power to Mokambo in DR Congo, stopped due to nonpayment of electricity bills by a contracted company called SNEL.
“Malicious damage, reported at Mokambo Police Station by Male Ernest Tipoti a driver for Power Tools Transport Company to the effect that on 18/07/22, at around 07:00 hours near Mokambo Market DRC a Power Tools bus bearing Reg. # BCA 7848 which was on its way to Nakonde had a shattered rear windscreen which was damaged by unknown Congolese Nationals along Pedicle Road in Congo DRC,” Ms. Zulu narrated.
“Brief facts of the matter are that, Zesco has been supplying power to Mokambo DRC but due to nonpayment of electricity bills by a Company called SNEL which is an agent of Zesco on the DRC side to utility Company here in Zambia and in this case being Zesco, It’s alleged that the top management directed Zesco Mufulira to cut off power at DRC Mokambo,” she said.
Ms. Zulu added:”This action angered the Congolese Nationals at Mokambo DRC hence protesting because of not having power for three days by burning tyres on the Pedicle Road coupled with throwing of stones at oncoming motor vehicles. Out of this riotous behavior, the bus in question had its rear windscreen shattered. The Congolese authorities at the border were engaged. So far the situation has calmed down and no casualties apart from the damages reported. The Zesco management Mufulira is yet to see the way forward to have the matter sorted out; unfortunately instructions from superiors are being awaited.”