ZESA Holdings subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), has lost $4 million worth of power cables and other components to criminals in the first eight months of 2019.
Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira confirmed the theft, saying during the period under review, ZETDC lost 169 transformers worth $2 245 811 and copper conductors valued at $1 517 540 in 415 cases recorded, while three cable thieves were electrocuted.
“Transformer oil valued at $51 445 was also lost in 53 cases recorded so far,” he said.
Mr Gwasira said ZETDC, in collaboration with other utilities and the police, effected 174 arrests and achieved 42 convictions.
He said Zesa had come up with strategies to minimise theft of cables and equipment.
“As counter strategies, the power utility has resorted to installing video field alarm systems on its networks, target hardening, use of drones to inspect its infrastructure as well as harvesting of copper and replacing it with aluminium,” said Mr Gwasira.
“Theft and vandalism has been reduced in most parts of the country due to the harvesting of copper and the subsequent replacement with aluminium.”
Last week, police arrested two suspects on allegations of stealing a Zesa Holdings transformer in Marondera.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests yesterday, adding the suspects would appear in court soon.
Government recently said the national power utility, Zesa Holdings, required $20 million to replace over 4 000 transformers that were either vandalised or stolen across the country.