By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
TWO habitual thieves, who targeted copper cables used in transmission of electricity by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), have been sentenced to a total of 40 years imprisonment.
Mashonaland West regional magistrate, Ignatius Mugova slapped the duo of Noah Ndhlovu (28) and Brian Phiri (29) with the maximum 10 years imprisonment for two counts each of violating Section 60 A(3)(a)(b) of the Electricity Act Chapter 13:19 pertaining to “tampers, cuts, damages, destroys, or inteferes with any apparatus for generating, transmitting, distributing or supplying electricity.”
This effectively means Ndhlovu and Phiri will serve 20 years apiece.
In the first count, the state case, led by Nyasha Sibesha, was that on 25 August this year at around 10am, and at Rathga farm in Banket, accused persons proceeded to the farm pump house where they stole 30 metres of armoured copper cables.
They took their loot to a nearby riverine where they set it on fire inorder to burn the plastic coating and retrieve the copper.
An alert farm manager, Nyasha Gwandu spotted the criminals before teaming up with Tichaona Sikhala and confronted the accused who fled the scene.
The pair was later apprehended leading to the recovery of only two metres of the 30 metres stolen.
The value of stolen property was $40 800.
In count two, the court heard that on 31 August 2021 at around 10:15pm, Ndhlovu and his accomplice went to Simba Mugariri’s Hydon farm where they cut copper wires supplying electricity to the property.
They reportedly took advantage of the darkness as that day there was no electricity at the farm.
All the stolen copper cables valued at $663 000 were later recovered, leading t the pair’s arrest