Mozambique: Power Restored to Beira and Chimoio

Maputo — The Mozambican electricity company, EDM, has announced that power was restored to the central cities of Beira and Chimoio at 20.20 on Wednesday night.

The power was restored after EDM technical staff worked to repair the damage to the power lines caused by thieves who stole metal parts, notably the angle brackets from pylons. The removal of the angle brackets caused one pylon to topple over.

The thieves struck at a stretch of transmission line between Chimoio and the locality of Chibata, causing power cuts in several cities and towns in Manica and Sofala provinces. While the repairs were under way, EDM resorted to alternative sources of power to lessen the impact of the vandalism, but was unable to prevent repeated power cuts in Beira and Chimoio.

The EDM statement announcing the restoration of power urged members of the public “to maintain vigilance and to denounce to the authorities any similar acts which disturb the normal supply of electrical power”.

Because the Beira power cuts coincided with the first day of the Congress of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement, conspiracy theorists immediately accused the government and the ruling Frelimo Party of responsibility.

For example, nonsense was spouted profusely in the comments boxes of the online version of the free weekly paper “A Verdade”. Comments included “this is something done by the envious government that has nothing to do except sabotage”, and “without a shadow of a doubt, this is sabotage, Frelimo is very clever”.

Idiocy on the Internet is predictable – more shocking was the remark in this week’s issue of a reputable paper, the independent weekly “Savana”, leaving open the possibility that the government sends out teams in the middle of the night to steal angle-brackets, and bring down pylons. “MDM members believed this was sabotage aimed at their firs congress. Whether this is correct or not, the residents of Beira suffered power cuts on Tuesday and Wednesday”.

“Whether this is correct or not” – so apparently “Savana” does not think it farfetched that the government would plunge two entire cities into darkness just to annoy the MDM.

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