An unidentified vandal is in a critical condition at Mpilo Hospital after experiencing severe electric shocks attempting to vandalize a 100kVA Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority transformer.
This caused a sudden power outage and residents then saw a bolt of light and heard a bang. When they went to investigate, they found the vandal up the pole injured.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry of information, Nick Mangwana confirmed the unfortunate incident.
Apparently, issues of vandalising electricity infrastructure have been a common feature, recently, a gang of about 6 suspected transformer thieves from Harare were booked at a Zvishavane lodge so that they could steal Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) transformers for both windings and oil in the mining town.
Meanwhile, cabinet recently approved a 30-year mandatory jail sentence for those who steal or vandalise power infrastructure in the country.
Over the years, parastatals and law enforcement agents have been imploring government to review upwards the 10-year mandatory sentence for copper cable thieves and electricity vandals.
They argued that copper cable and transformers/ oil thieves were economic saboteurs as theft of electricity infrastructure had ripple effects on the economy. Zimbabwe has lost thousands, if not millions of potential revenue due to vandalism.
In most cases, after vandals temper with ZESA infrastructure it takes long periods to have the equipment repaired as most parts are imported from outside the country, leaving residents in the dark and corporates losing business prospects.