Maputo — Thieves have sabotaged several electricity pylons on high voltage transmission lines in Nacala district, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, reports Tuesday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais".
Last week the thieves stole about 600 angle brackets from the pylons, which are on the transmission line from Nampula city to Nacala. There is an organised criminal racket in stealing these metallic parts, which are melted down and used to make pots and pans and other domestic utensils.
Removal of the angle brackets weakens the pylons, and the electricity company, EDM, fears that they can now easily be knocked over by high winds.
"This situation places all the pylons at risk", said Stive Ferro, the deputy director of EDM in Nampula. "If there are any high winds, more than 20 pylons could fall".
Ferro warned that it was urgent to replace the angle brackets. EDM puts the cost of replacing the stolen material at 600,000 US dollars.
This is far from the first case of the theft and destruction of electric equipment in Nampula, but so far no arrests have been made. EDM wants to step up control and security along the transmission lines, and to this end is urging collaboration from local community leaders.
EDM suspects that the thieves used a generator and sophisticated cutting equipment to cut through the supports for the angle brackets, and believes this type of crime could only have been carried out at night.