Home » Judicial » Copper Thieves Get 40 Years in Jail

Four thieves who stole 450 metres of copper wire from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) in Zvishavane have been slapped with a collective 40 years .

Brighton Mabweazara (35), Gorge Mawata (26), Cain Mandyokwa (40), and Simbarashe Jonasi (30), all from Zvishavane town had pleaded not guilty when they appeared before Zvishavane magistrate, Mr Story Rushambwa.

They were, however, convicted and sentenced to an effective 10 years each.

Prosecutor Ms Shellah Mupindu alleged that on October 28 last year, the suspects stole 450 metres of copper weighing 524kg near Nill Township close to Shabane Mine in Zvishavane.

Ms Mupindu alleged that the accused persons chopped down one of the poles supporting the copper cables after switching off electricity from the main transmitter.

Ms Mupindu said luck ran out for the suspects when police got a tip-off from members of the public leading to their arrest.

She alleged that one of the detectives, Detective Assistant Inspector Booker Mutare masqueraded as a buyer for the copper cables and arranged to meet the suspects at Nill Township at 12.30 am.

Ms Mupindu told the court that the four accused persons arrived at Nill Township at around 11pm where the alleged transaction was supposed to take place.

The suspects called Det Asst Insp Mutare so that he would come and collect the stolen cables. The detective came and told the gang that his boss would send the money through EcoCash and would have to weigh the cables first before receiving payment.

Ms Mupindu said as the four accused persons were attempting to weigh the wire, Det Asst Insp Mutare gave a signal to his team which emerged from nearby bushes where they had waylaid the suspects.

The four were immediately arrested.

The suspects implicated Mr Wellington Zhou who works for ZETDC Zvishavane as part of their syndicate. They revealed this during cross examinations.

However, Zhou was exonerated after they failed to provide concrete and substantial evidence.

Source : The Herald