By Brenda Zinyuke
A 32-YEAR-OLD man from Bulawayo has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing copper cables valued at $160.
Taona Maparara in the company of Tatenda Nyandoro and Marufu Marufu, who are already serving 10 years each for the offence, stole 13 kilogrammes of copper cables belonging to Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) in Lochview suburb.
Maparara had pleaded not guilty to cutting, damaging, destroying and interfering with apparatus for the generation, transmission and distribution and supply of electricity when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Mr Joseph Mabeza.
The magistrate sentenced him to an effective 10 years in prison.
Prosecuting, Mr Thobekani Nyathi said on April 3 this year at around 1AM, a sudden power cut occurred in Lochview and surrounding suburbs.
“A resident and his son drove into the night as they wanted to check what could have caused the unexpected power cut,” he said.
During their patrol, they saw a blue Honda Fit along Hill Road in the same suburb and suspected that criminals may have been using it.
The prosecutor said the resident alerted other residents and they tried to stop the vehicle but it sped off.
They managed to intercept the vehicle after it hit a tree.
Maparara and Nyandoro escaped.
Marufu was arrested at the crime scene after the vehicle was searched and 13 kilogrammes of copper and a nylon rope were recovered in the boot.
A follow up was made by the police leading to the arrest of Nyandoro at his home in Mzilikazi.
Mr Nyathi said Marufu and Nyandoro implicated Maparara as the one who had cut the copper cables.
On June 1 police officers received information regarding Maparara’s whereabouts and he was arrested at around 3PM at MaDlodlo Beergarden.
The stolen copper cables and nylon rope were recovered. The Chronicle