21 March 2019

Zimbabwe: Cable Thieves Electrocuted

TWO suspected thieves electrocuted, while their colleague was seriously injured on Monday morning in Chegutu while tampering with ZESA cables.

The incident occurred in Hinton suburb at around 1am.

The injured man sustained severe burns on the left leg.

Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the deaths.

However, a worker from the power utility said tragedy struck while the trio attempted to steal 11kV copper cables in Chegutu.

"Two died on spot while the other one is seriously injured and has been admitted at a local hospital," he said.

Police have positively identified the deceased.

Chegutu District Administrator Mr Tariro Tomu said the incident should be a warning to would-be cable thieves.

"Cases of Zesa cable thefts have been on the rise in Chegutu, leading to blackouts in most parts of the district and we recently called for a meeting where residents accused officials of having a hand in the scourge," he said.

The incident occurs barely a month after ZESA Holdings reported that it had lost electricity infrastructure worth almost $3,7m in the first 10 months of 2017 due to vandalism.

The power utility, however, recovered about $479 679 worth of materials and infrastructure was recovered as at November 30 last year.

Vandals usually target overhead copper conductors, transformer windings and transformer oil.

According to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, 224 people were killed in electricity related accidents countrywide between 2009 and 2016.

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