Man steals $200 000 copper cables

HARARE - A man allegedly stole copper cables worth over $200 000, before attempting to smuggle them to South Africa, a court has heard.

Tawanda Mapfumo, from Harare is accused of contravening Section 60 (A) (3) of the Electricity Act, which deals with cutting, damaging and interfering with apparatus used for generation and distribution of electricity.

He is alternatively accused of possessing property reasonably suspected to have been stolen.

According to prosecutors, the offence was committed between October and December last year.

It is alleged that Mapfumo connived with Morris Mukurakudya, Brian Zvikomborero Kadiki and Webster Mujaya and stole several kilogrammes of copper conductors.

The court heard the group stole 50 kilogrammes of copper conductors belonging to the National Railways of Zimbabwe from its electrical transmission network.

The quartet also stole 113 kg of  Tel One cables and a further 12 tonnes of copper conductors belonging to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company.

According to state papers, the property is valued at $203 260.

It is alleged the group manufactured fake bills of entry, release orders and several invoices in order to facilitate the smooth transfer of the copper cables to South Africa for sale, purporting, the elements were from Zambia’s Fullmart Recycling Company.

However, Mapfumo and his accomplices were arrested in Willovale, Harare, before their departure to South Africa.

Mapfumo, who was represented by Musindo Hungwe, remained in custody after the State invoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, leading to the nullification of the $500 bail that had been granted by Harare magistrate Milton Serima.

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