ZETDC under fire

Mr Gwasira

Mr Gwasira

Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings has come under fire from prospective employees for demanding the “expensive” Samsung J7 smartphone as one of the requirements.

Recently, ZETDC flighted an advert seeking to recruit 20 data capture clerks on a fixed term contract in Victoria Falls with a Samsung J7 smartphone as one of the requirements.

“Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates to fill vacancies below. Candidates should have five O Levels, be proficient in local languages, have good communication skills, be fit to travel at least four kilometres per day and possess a smartphone to be used for the job, preferably a J7 Samsung,” read part of the advert dated January 11, 2018.

Following similar exercises in other urban centres countrywide, interviews for the advertised vacant positions were held on January 20 at the Zesa Victoria Falls offices.

Victoria Falls residents challenged the advertised job requirements resulting in the Combined Victoria Falls Residents Association (Vifacora) leadership engaging Zesa management.

They accused Zesa of deliberately sidelining ‘real job seekers’ in favour of the elite who can afford the Samsung J7.

A Samsung J7 is selling for between $400 and $900 depending on the model while a second hand can sell for up to $300.

“Which unemployed person can afford a Samsung J7? They should have just asked job seekers to bring a smartphone, but it would have made sense if Zesa provided the gadgets given the high prices,” said a resident.

Vifacora chair Mr Morgan Dube said they engaged Zesa management because of the outrageous demands.

“The reason why we engaged them is that we thought the requirements were meant to sideline our people in favour of the few elite. They have told us that Samsung J7 had proven to be compatible for data collection as it can be linked to their system.

“We appreciate the need for technology but we feel they should have just asked for any smart phone than to specifically make such outrageous demand.
“They should provide the gadgets as the employer,” said Mr Dube.

The power utility was adamant arguing the requirements are standard procedure in the region,.

Responding to emailed questions, ZETDC spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said:

“ZETDC embarked on an exercise to engage data capture clerks countrywide to gather data for the GIS (Geographic Information System) project that assists in planning through spatial representation of its network assets on map, operations and maintenance.”

He said the job entails collecting, capturing and processing GIS hi-tech data for accurate billing in line with the latest technologies that the power utility is using in the ever evolving world of innovation,” he said.

Mr Gwasira said it was a requirement that the people that are hired to conduct the data gathering exercise, have the requisite qualifications and suitable gadgets that are compatible with the system as not every cellular phone would produce the desired results.

“The requirement is not unique to data capture clerks but also used for artisans who must have tools of the trade.

“As per procedure, the employer doesn’t provide such facilities,” he said. — @ncubeleon

Article Source: The Chronicle

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