Cables thieves jailed 10 years

HARARE - Three Zvishavane men were jailed for 10 years each last week after being convicted of stealing State-owned telephone firm TelOne’s copper cables.

Musavengana Nkululeko, Sifelani Ndiweni and Munyaradzi Gava were found in possession of 122kg of burnt copper at a roadblock in Gweru aboard an InterAfrica bus and were immediately arrested.

They were charged under the Postal and Communications Act Chapter 12:05.

They were given the mandatory 10-year sentence under section 4 of the Criminal Law Amendment (Protection of Power, Communications and Water Infrastructure) Act 2011 that says “any person who receives and takes possession of any telecommunication infrastructure material knowing that it has been stolen or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that it has been stolen shall be guilty of an offence and if there are no special circumstances peculiar to the offence as provided for in subsection (10), be liable to imprisonment for a period not less than 10 years.”

In a statement issued in relation to the court case, TelOne said it has lost $100 000 worth of cable and equipment since the beginning of the year.

TelOne also said they lose about $1 million in revenue annually due to the disruption of business and inconveniences to customers, which also affect the quality of service.

“The vandalism of telecommunications equipment is affecting service delivery and we are strongly appealing to the public to alert us of any criminal activities relating to vandalism and copper cable theft,” TelOne audit and risk executive Kudakwashe Musundire said.

TelOne has launched an anti-vandalism campaign to try and curb theft of copper cables and telecommunication equipment.

As an incentive, the firm is offering a reward of up to $1 000 to members of the public who provide information on the theft and vandalism of cables and equipment.

This comes as copper cable theft cases have been on the rise. In July, a copper smuggling syndicate was caught at Plumtree Border Post trying to smuggle out 1 249kg of copper with an estimated value of $10 000.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.