Story by Tafara Chikumira
A three-member copper cables gang has been slapped with an effective10 year jail term each after being convicted of stealing copper cables valued at US$1 000 in Gweru’s Woodlands suburb.
The three convicts were sent to prison by Gweru regional magistrate, Mr Christopher Maturure after a full trial.
The trio include Gwerus Copper cables queen mother, Prisca Mupini aged 39 who has been on the Zimbabwe Republic Police radar for quite some time but could not be prosecuted due to lack of sufficient evidence.
The other two are Prince Darawanda aged 28 and Sydney Mungofa aged 32.
Two other accused persons in the case, Perfect Chiromo aged 22 and 23-year-old Christian Nkosana were acquitted at the close of the state case.
The state led by Mr Talent Tadenyika argued that on the 27th of January this year, Darawanda and Mungofa hatched a plan to cut copper cables in the Woodlands suburb in contravention of the Zimbabwe Electricity Act.
The two who were acting on instructions from Mupini then called Chiromo and Nkosana to ferry their loot the following day on the pretext that they had loaded firewood in sacks.
Their plan was busted by an alert police officer who was doing his early morning exercise.
The three who will serve a combined sentence of 30 years were sentenced this Friday.
The government and stakeholders have tightened screws on the theft of copper cables that had seen most parts of the country going for months without electricity due to vandalism.