Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko last week convicted four men for stealing copper conductors weighing more than 45kg and sentenced them to 10 years in jail each. Munyaradzi Mvumba (24) Tafadzwa Mlambo (22), Jephter Mugochi (30) and Sibonginkosi Banda (22) pleaded guilty to 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.
The court heard that on March 1, Takaingani Chikepe was at his house when Mugochi and Mlambo approached him asking for water to drink.
Chikepe gave them the water and they left.
The court heard that after leaving, Chikepe’s wife became suspicious after observing the dirt on their clothes.
Prosecutor Mr Gilbert Chiripanyanga said she followed the duo and observed that they were in the company of Banda and Mvumba, and in possession of the stolen loot and informed her husband.
Chikepe approached the four and asked them to open a blue and red sack which Banda was seated on in order to see what was inside.
The court heard that Chikepe discovered that the sack was loaded with 22kg four-core armoured cables, 4kg copper conductors, 19kg armour wire, two small metal cutters, a saw, knife, torch, catapult and a bolt cutter.
The State further stated that Chikepe sought assistance from Damson Tembo and David Charles to apprehend the four.
They were taken to the police were they were asked to produce any licence or permit authorising them to possess the recovered copper which they failed to do.
The copper conductors from a Zesa transformer were weighed in the presence of the four and a mass of 45 kilograms was realised.
The total value of the cables was put at $900.