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World Cup Cheer Dampened As Zimbabweans Worry About Electricity, Xenophobia

The government has ordered the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority not to cut off power to customers in arrears on payments for the duration of the World Cup in South Africa running from Friday until mid-July

World Cup excitement in Zimbabwe has been dampened as fans wonder if they will be able to watch the global football festival at all amid almost constant power cuts, reported Michael Kariati from Harare.

But the government has directed the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to stop cutting off power to customers in arrears on payments for the duration of the World Cup kicking off Friday in South Africa.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Harare on the move.

In South Africa, meanwhile, Zimbabweans are worried about a possible renewal of xenophobic attacks. Reports said a Zimbabwean was hacked to death last weekend in Orange Farm, a town outside Johannesburg. Zimbabwean activists said they are trying to verify if the victim had indeed been Zimbabwean.

Reports have been circulating in Johannesburg of other deaths and letters in circulation warning foreigners to leave by August 8. Other reports said South African taxi drivers were being mobilized to transport attack groups.

The South African government has set up a ministerial level committee to investigate such reports.

As many as 3 million Zimbabweans live in South Africa, most seeking to escape the economic crisis at home.

Zimbabwe Exiles Forum Executive Director Gabriel Shumba told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that the Zimbabwean community is very concerned and discuss self-protection in a weekend conference.