Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zesa copper cables thief gets 10 years jail

By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu

A Bulawayo man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing 6 000 metres of copper cables worth $18 750 from Esigodini.

His five alleged accomplices were acquitted after the court failed to find incriminating evidence against them.

Tinashe Mujakachi (30), who had pleaded not guilty to charges of cutting, damaging, destroying or interfering with copper cables when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira, was convicted due to overwhelming evidence.

Talent Kamupaundi (27), Loicy Sibanda (44), Emmanuel Noko (58), Freddie Kasema (23) and Brendon Dube (23), also from Bulawayo, were found not guilty and acquitted.

Prosecuting, Mr Mncedisi Dube had said the five men, who were working with a woman, stole the copper cables on three separate occasions.

They were arrested on the third day as they were collecting their loot.

He said Mujakachi and Kamupaundi were responsible for cutting the copper cables; Noko and his girlfriend Sibanda sold the cables while Kasema and Dube were responsible for transporting the loot.

“The accused persons connived to steal Zesa copper cables from Esigodini area. On 17 July Mujakachi, Kamupaundi, Kasema and Dube went to Endongeni Farm in Esigodini area where they cut and stole 2 400 metres of copper wires valued at $7 500. They transported the loot to Noko and Sibanda who sold the cables.

“On 21 July the accused persons drove to Savikida Farm in Esigodini area where they cut off 1 200 metres of overhead copper wires valued at $3 750. Noko and Sibanda sold the copper cables,” he said.

Mr Dube had said on July 24, Mujakachi, Kamupaundi, Kasema and Dube went to Komani Farm where they cut off 2 400 metres of copper cables valued at $7 500 and left the wires there as they were set to collect them later.

He said three security guards who were patrolling the area at night saw the copper cables lying on the ground and laid an ambush to apprehend the culprits.

“Mujakachi and Kamupaundi arrived at the scene around 3AM to collect the copper cables. The security guards apprehended them while they were rolling the copper cables. Mujakachi and Kamupaundi implicated their other accomplices leading to their arrest as well.

“Police carried out a search at Noko’s place of residence where they found a sack of about 15kg of scrap copper,” he said.

Mr Dube said a bolt cutter that the accused persons used to commit the offence was also recovered. The Chronicle.