ZESCO sued for K2.4m over gutted house

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:55:28 +0000

 

 By CHIKUMBI KATEBE

A LUSAKA resident has sued ZESCO and is claiming K2.4 million from for alleged negligence by the power utility that resulted in an inferno that gutted his house at plot number 22945 PHI housing complex in Lusaka.

Harrison Phiri, has sued Zesco for destruction of property and household goods as a result of alleged negligence which resulted in the fire.

He has asked the Lusaka High Court for special damages to the value of the house as well as household goods worth K231,000, and interest including other reliefs as may be deemed fit by the courts.

“Particulars of loss and damages: K2,140,000 being the value of the house which was gutted by fire on the 3rd of September 2016. K231,000 being the value of the following household goods destroyed by the fire.

“Six beds and mattress, beddings, clothes, kitchenware, PACRA company registration documents, RATSA drilling equipment ownership and fitness documents, firearm, shot gun (Lugar double barrel) and three (03) title deeds,” he said.

This is after Zesco reportedly admitted the fire was caused by a suspected short circuit from the intake cables due to warn out insulation in the ceiling.

He said the electrical fault occurred before the metering point making it a responsibility of the electricity company as there was a good electricity wiring system in place in the house.

Mr Phiri in his statement of claim submitted that the fire was caused by the negligence of Zesco or its agents in the manner they routed electricity service cables through the roof ceiling leaving the house unprotected from the risk of fire.

He explained that as a power utility, Zesco failed to secure the house when they connected the supply line to the house, which left the house at risk of fire between the pole and the house.

“The defendants negligently routed the electricity service cable from the Zesco pole to the roof shackle, through the wall into the ceiling void of the house to the meter box outside the kitchen when they knew or ought reasonably to have known that this left the house unprotected from risk of a fire between the Zesco pole and the meter.

“The defendant failed and or neglected to install fuses from the Zesco pole to the house to ensure protection between the pole and the house, when the defendant knew or ought to have known that such a failure would result in a high risk of fire to the house,” he said.

He said Zesco was in breach of the statutory obligation under Regulations 20 (1) and (b) and 34 of the electricity supply regulations of the Electricity Act, Cap 433 of the Laws of Zambia which state that the company must ensure its facilities were protected and were necessary of such quality as to prevent danger.

 

 

 

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