50 years for stealing electrical gadgets

MUTARE – A former Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) employee has been jailed for 50 years for stealing electricity transmission gadgets.

Evans Mukorera, 31, of 131 Area 14 in Dangamvura was slapped with the lengthy sentence following his conviction on his own plea of guilt by magistrate Lazarus Murendo.

Mukorera was convicted on nine counts, with each attracting a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence.

Murendo slashed the sentence to 50 years from 90 years by allowing some of the sentences to run concurrently.

His colleague in five of the counts — Johnson Nengomasha, 29, of 147 Area 14, Dangamvura — was slapped with an effective 30-year jail sentence reduced from 50, after two of the counts were made to run concurrently with others.

The duo was charged with “tempering, transmitting, distribution or supplying electricity with the result that any supply of electricity is interrupted or cut off or damages, destroys or interferes with any apparatus for generating, transmitting, distributing or supplying electricity” in contravention of section 60 A (3)(a)(b) of the Electricity Act Chapter 13:19.

It was the State’s case that Mukorera, on nine occasions, five of which he was being assisted by Nengomasha, would break into ZETDC substations across the city, often switching off electricity after sending WhatsApp messages of load shedding and then stealing electricity transmission equipment.

The plunder of the electrical equipment would often plunge sections of the city into darkness for days. The duo would then sell the equipment to second-hand electricity equipment dealers in Sakubva Market from where some of the equipment was recovered.

All the stolen equipment did not exceed $5 000, with less than a thousand worth of the gadgets being recovered.

Matthew Chimutunga was prosecuting.

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