POLICE in Bulawayo last month arrested three Harare truck drivers found in possession of suspected stolen Zesa aluminium conductors.
According to police, the law enforcement agency received a tip-off that a truck was seen loading Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) copper conductors at Nketa 7 suburb on March 30.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the arrest of Sydney Muchairi (50) Tonderai Kavengere (28) and Maldin Muderere (23 ) on suspicion of stealing copper conductors.
Ncube said the truck was later located along Fife Street and 5th Avenue, delivering crates of eggs and kaylites following investigations.
A search was conducted, leading to the recovery of ZETDC overhead conductors covered with a black plastic sheet, leading to the suspects’ arrest.
“The suspects indicated that they received the ZETDC aluminium conductors from one Munyaradzi Madamombe on the roadside at Nketa 7 who paid them US$60 to transport the aluminium conductors to an undisclosed person in Harare. They claimed that Madamombe promised to direct them where to deliver the aluminium conductors upon their arrival in Harare,’’ he said.
The value and quantity of the conductors is yet to be ascertained.
The power utility has lost infrastructure such as cables and transformers worth US$5 million through theft and vandalism.
Theft of power infrastructure attracts a 10-year jail sentence. The Home Affairs ministry is advocating for a mandatory 30-year jail term.