The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has reported that on 07/02/24, Senzeni Moyo (34), Thembani Ngwenya (27) and Louis Ngwenya (25) were arrested for possession of copper cables in Bulawayo.
Police acted on received information and intercepted the suspects who were travelling in a Silver Honda Fit motor vehicle at a robot controlled intersection, 4thAvenue and Robert Mugabe Street.
Police conducted a search leading to the recovery of 16kgs of copper cables which were stashed in the boot.
In 2022, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings said it was losing more than US$4 million in copper cable theft annually, a scenario that has not only affected the entity but crippled economic development as productivity has been greatly reduced.
Copper cable theft is rife in the country with tonnes of overhead and underground cables being stolen and sold to buyers beyond the borders and locally.
That has resulted in some areas going dark for long periods after the theft of the cables with some communities even resorting to purchasing replacement cables as the power utility has a notable backlog of replacing the stolen cables.
Copper cable theft is clause is a serious crime just like vandalism of any item or essential infrastructure.
The new section which was inserted into the statutes set a mandatory sentence for this crime at a minimum of ten (10) years imprisonment without the option of a fine.
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