The Herald (Harare)

27 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Quartet Arrested for U.S.$34 000 Zesa Cables Theft

Police have arrested four men from Beitbridge for stealing 340kg of Zesa cables worth US$34 000 near Bubi Village some 80km out of the border town along the Beitbridge Masvingo road. Lawrence Sibanda (28), Panganai Dube (28), Smart Dube (28) and Tendai Dube were arrested while still collecting their loot in the bush on Sunday evening. Two other suspects, John Moyo and one identified only as Anderson, who fled from the scene, were still on the run.

The four were dragged before Beitbridge Resident Magistrate Miss Gloria Takundwa and were remanded in custody to today for bail hearing. Allegations against them are that on February 23, the accused persons, connived to steal Zesa cables before arming themselves with a bolt cutter and a cut saw.

They then proceeded to Bubi area at around 10 pm driving a Nissan Atlas truck registration numbers ACH 5970 and driven by Lawrence Sibanda. Upon arrival at the said destination, Smart and Tendai Dube are alleged to have gone to an 11-kilovolt Zesa feeder at Bubi where they cut four poles using the saw.

As a result there was a blackout in the area and during that point Lawrence and Panganai were monitoring the situation from the truck which was parked at Bubi Motel. However, residents around the area suspected that the black out was unusual and alerted Zesa officials and the police who then rushed to the scene where the four were subsequently arrested.

The other two suspects, John Moyo and Anderson managed to flee under the cover of darkness. A total of 340kg of copper cables that were detached from the said line into sizeable bundles along with the cutting instruments were recovered from the scene.

The copper cables are worth a total of $33 750 but only a loot worth $23 625 was recovered from the quartet.

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