A thief who stole Zesa cables was described by the courts as a saboteur who worked against the country’s economic development and such acts were responsible for the blackouts that Zimbabweans suffered year in year -out.
Robson Maduka (30) was convicted for stealing 40 metres of four core armoured cable and was sentenced to six years in jail.
Maduka dug up the cables from Kerry-Boom Farm in Beatrice after taking advantage of a power cut at the farm on September 25.
Chitungwiza magistrate Lazini Ncube blasted Maduka for contributing to power shortages and sabotaging farming at large.
“The property you stole is of great value. While the country is experiencing electricity shortages you contributed to the darkness of the area by stealing the cables.
“Your conduct amounts to sabotaging the farming business of other people and as such, you deserve a custodial sentence,” the magistrate said.
The court heard that on the day in question, Maduka teamed up with Tendai Benhura, Vaison Dhoso and another person only identified as Tsano, who are still at large, and went to the farm owned by Jeremiah Mazanhi.
The gang is said to have inspected the transformer at the farm and realised there was no power. They dug up and pulled out the 40-metre four core armoured cable.
The gang took the cable to Mastlain Farm a few kilometres away, from where it was transported to buyers.
The gang’s luck ran out when police acting on a tip-off, visited the farm leading to Maduka’s arrest while his accomplices escaped. Although Maduka denied taking part in the cable theft, he admitted leading the police to its recovery.
In his defence, Maduka said he had shown the police where Benhura and Dhoso told him they had hidden the stolen cable.