4000 transformers are needed to complement the Rural Electrification Programme, it has emerged.

This comes as the country has made tremendous progress in rolling out the Rural Electrification Programme with more than 8800 institutions having been electrified countrywide to date.

Speaking during the commissioning of electricity at Buwerimwe Secondary and Manhu Primary schools in Mutare West Constituency yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Mr Partison Mbiriri noted that serious vandalism of ZESA cables and transformers is derailing the Rural Electrification Programme.

“Transformers are in short supply and we currently have a deficit of 4000. The other problem is vandalism of installed property, and this is a major hindrance to the development of the programme.

Speaking at the same occasion, Mutare West legislator and Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Dr Christopher Mushohwe said despite transformer shortages due to vandalism, a number of institutions, ranging from schools, clinics have been electrified in the constituency.

The headmaster for Buwerimwe Secondary School, Mr Hillam Rubende and pupils concurred that the Rural Electrification Programme will transform the learning environment at the school.

25 primary and secondary schools have been electrified in Mutare West Constituency, while 15 more are earmarked to be electrified this year, including six clinics.

The government established the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in 2002 to speed up the Rural Electrification Programme to reduce the gap of urban-rural development and more than 8000 institutions have been electrified to date.