Copper Cable Thieves Sentenced To 10 Years In Jail
Two Harare men were on Wednesday sentenced to 10 years in jail for stealing Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) copper cables.
They were part of a four-member gang which included a 16-year-old, The Standard reported.
There was a separation of trial after Richard Dzinzi and Reward Sibanda pleaded guilty to the charge leading to their conviction and sentence. Reads the state outline:
The following accused persons were arrested for possession of 25 cut pieces of 3 core armoured cable in Westgate area; Sibanda (53) of 93 Engineering Highfields, Richard Dzinzi (35) of Turnleaf Farm Westgate, Amos Dzinzi (16) of Turnleaf Farm and Tafadzwa Phiri (27) of 497 Nehanda Ext RRB 5409688 Marlborough.
Phiri and Amos Dzinzi pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody until Tuesday for routine remand.
The accused persons had no legal representation.
In October last year, the government gazetted the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Act and the Copper Control Amendment Act [Chapter 10:34] (No. 5 of 2022), which introduced new, more severe penalties.
Organisations such as ZESA, TelOne, Econet, Telecel, NetOne, and the National Railways of Zimbabwe tell tales of loss of business due to the effects of copper cable theft that has been spreading uncontrolled.
Households too are affected as they are left to spend days without power and are sometimes asked to pull resources together for the purchase of copper cables.
It is suspected most of the stolen cables are being smuggled to South Africa and they are then shipped further to countries that use the metal in the construction and manufacturing industries.