A Harare Magistrate has sentenced two Harare men to 10 years imprisonment after they were found in possession ZESA copper cables worth $360 each and convicted of the offense after a fully contested trial.
Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko sentenced the two, Blessmore Kinini,30, and Walter Muza,25 after prosecutor Peter Kachirika proved his case against them.
The two were convicted of charges of contravening section (3a) of the Electricity Act which according to the State prohibits receiving or taking possession of any material used to generate and transmit electricity.
Kachirika pleaded with the court to impose a stiff custodial sentence to set an example for individuals who might consider committing the offence in light of the dangers tampering with electricity pose to the general citizens who might come in contact with the exposed wires after the crimes.
“Offences of this nature are on the rise and it is the courts duty to ensure the safety of the people by enforcing stiff penalties for perpetrators,” he said.
It was proved that on March 10 around 9am, constable Takaruza Jack and Hazvinei Katogo were attached on a Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority operation targeting electricity cables thieves.
They patrolled at Siyaso Magaba Complex and bumped into Kinini who carried a white sack.
The officers introduced themselves before searching the sack and recovered 18kg of Zesa copper conductors.
A Zesa official John Gombe was summoned to the police station and positively identified the copper cables as those from Zesa and they were valued at $360.
That same day Muza was also arrested at Siyaso with another 18kg sack of electricity conductors valued at $360.