VILLAGERS in Matobo district, Matabeleland South province, have blasted the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company for failing to connect several schools in the area to the national grid years after the installation of enabling infrastructure.

A number of rural schools in Matobo district have electricity poles and transformers, but are yet to be switched on.

“People of Matabeleland South are facing a lot of major challenges which the government has been failing to address. As we speak, it has been five years since Zesa installed electricity transformers and poles but have not connected the power to the schools,” a villager, Kudakwashe Zulu said.

Another villager, Moses Zondo added that lack of electricity in rural schools was contributing to the poor pass rate in the province.

“Teachers and students are struggling to access mobile phones network because there is no power.

“Candidates have been failing to access online lessons during the national lockdown and now are expected to sit for examinations.

“The little time they were given to learn was not beneficial since teachers keep striking,” Zondo said.

“We appeal to government to complete the connections in the affected schools so that our children can be able to research.

“We also need mobile boosters because people are still walking five kilometres to access the network.”

Zesa southern region manager Lovemore Chinaka requested for written questions to be sent to him, but had not responded at the time of going to print.

In 2017, the Energy and Power Development ministry launched the national energy policy which sought to enable all Zimbabweans to access low-cost energy services.