Electricity theft is a global challenge and Zimbabwe hasn’t been spared. The country has lost up to 1,000km of power lines due to cable theft. The official explanation is that this is driven by organised crime with some accomplices coming from government departments. Politicians say theft and the vandalism of electricity infrastructure is politically motivated to derail the government’s economic endeavours. This would be the effect of blackouts, rising energy costs and lost taxes. From the data, it emerged that electricity theft in Zimbabwe illustrates the political-economic context. The way the political elite explain it is politically convenient. In their explanation, the lack of electricity access doesn’t point to inadequacies in the country’s energy policy nor political economy. Rather, it’s portrayed as simple criminality. It puts the blame on others, instead of the government.
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