Panashe Machakaire and Geraldine Zaranyika
Two men were yesterday sentenced to the mandatory 10 years in prison each for stealing 32 metres of copper conductors from a Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority transformer. The copper is valued at $640.
Innocent Phiri (21) and Given Ruweri (26) denied charges of contravening Section 60A (3a) of the Electricity Act that prohibits receiving or taking possession of any material used in connection with the generation, transmission, distribution or supply of electricity.
Allegations are that on January 25, police officers from Marlborough were on duty and at a police stop and search roadblock along Bindura Road stopped a Toyota Hiace (registration ABQ 9786).
A search was conducted on the vehicle leading to the recovery of a black monarch bag and a green sack loaded with 32kg of copper conductors from a Zesa transformer.
The officers asked for the owner of the contraband, but none of the passengers claimed the bag. The conductor of the Hiace positively identified the accused persons as the owners of the bag and green sack.
The duo were asked to produce any licence or permit authorising them to possess the recovered copper and they failed, leading to their arrest.
Magistrate Mrs Learnmore Mapiye sentenced the duo to the mandatory 10-year prison term.
Meanwhile, Mrs Mapiye sentenced another man to 10 years imprisonment for cutting 9kg of TelOne drop wires worth $70.
Lovemore Kamuzangaza (41) pleaded guilty to contravening the Telecommunications Act that criminalises destroying, injuring and removing telecommunication lines.
Kamuzangaza was convicted after a full trial.
Prosecutor, Mr Terrence Mashaire proved that on January 3, between 12.20am and 12.40am along Lynstead Lane, Derbyshire in Waterfalls, Harare, Lovemore Kamuzangaza unlawfully destroyed, injured or removed telecommunications lines.
On January 3, Edmore Mhlanga, a security guard employed by Peace Security Company, observed swinging of TelOne drop wires and some sounds of wire being cut from the opposite side of the road. He suspected that someone was tampering with the TelOne cable.
The security guard then woke up Takudzwa Tsuro to investigate. They proceeded to open their premises gate and walked towards the TelOne pole where Kamuzangaza was standing holding on to wires that had been cut.
The two walked towards Kamuzangaza whereupon he dropped a pliers and tried to run away, but was immediately apprehended.
The pliers was recovered as well as rolled and loose drop wires near the TelOne pole where Kamuzangaza was standing.
Kamuzangana was handed over to detectives. He led them to where he had cut the TelOne wires.