COPPER THEFT COPS IN COURT newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

THREE Bulawayo-based law enforcement officials who had been on Sunday
arrested for allegedly stealing copper cables value US$7 000 in Pumula East
suburb, appeared in courtroom yesterday to use for bail pending trial.

Residents effected a citizen arrest at about 1AM. One among
the cops was nabbed whereas carrying his service uniform whereas his accomplices
had been in civilian clothes. They had been allegedly present in possession of 23,5kg of
stolen cables.

Tapiwa Taruberekera (39), Rodrick Tauyanago (34) and Kudzai
Wemba (33) all working from Pumula Police Station, appeared earlier than Western
Commonage resident Justice of the Peace Mr Shepherd Mjanja dealing with expenses of contravening
Part 60A (3) (a)(b) of the Electrical energy Act (chopping, damaging, destroying or
interfering with copper cables for producing, transmitting, distributing or
supplying electrical energy).

They had been remanded in custody to in the present day for ruling on their
bail software.

Of their software for bail via their lawyer, Mr
Tinashe Dzipe of Morris Davies and Firm, the three cops are denying the
expenses, saying the State did not proffer compelling causes warranting their
continued detention.

They mentioned there was no proof linking them to the
offence, arguing that they had been simply victims of circumstances as they had been
arrested about 1km away from the scene.

The trio claimed that the cap, which was discovered on the scene
of the crime was planted.

Mr Dzipe mentioned his shoppers had been harmless till confirmed responsible
therefore they had been entitled to their constitutional proper to bail.

He mentioned the State’s view that his shoppers will abscond as soon as
launched on bail was not supported by goal info, arguing that the three
accused individuals had been of mounted abode and gainfully employed.

The trio provided to pay $25 000 bail every and to report
twice per week at Nkulumane Police Station in addition to to proceed residing at
their given addresses.

The State, which was represented by Miss Mellisa Dube,
opposed bail, arguing that given the seriousness of the offence and the
obligatory 10 year-jail time period for copper theft, there was no assure that if
launched on bail, the three is not going to abscond.

She mentioned there was overwhelming proof linking the
accused individuals to the offence.

“The State is opposing bail for the accused individuals as a result of
they’re more likely to abscond if launched on bail.

They’re additionally more likely to intervene with State witnesses and
jeopardise investigations as among the stolen property was not recovered,”
mentioned Miss Dube.

“Within the curiosity of justice, the accused ought to be remanded
in custody pending trial.”

Prosecuting, Miss Dube mentioned on March 13 within the early
morning hours, the three law enforcement officials had been noticed by a Pumula East resident
close to his home whereas stealing overhead copper cables belonging to the Zimbabwe
Electrical energy Transmission and Distribution Firm (ZETDC).

The resident alerted different residents and so they teamed up and
pursued the accused individuals and apprehended them resulting in the restoration of
23,5kg of copper cables value US$7 000.

The courtroom heard that one of many law enforcement officials managed to
escape from the scene and rushed to Pumula Police Station the place he falsely
reported that he had been attacked by robbers in Pumula East.

The three law enforcement officials had parked their automotive, a Toyota
Starlet, about 1km away from the scene of crime.

Bulawayo has of late been hit by a collection of energy outages
principally because of copper cables theft, with a number of suburbs resembling Hillside,
Burnside and Killarney being the worst affected.

Police in Bulawayo just lately smashed a properly organised copper
theft racket and arrested two suspects and recovered 150kg of overhead copper
conductors value US$12 000.

The ZETDC is now within the means of changing copper cables
with aluminium ones.

Zesa Holdings is searching for a assessment of the sentence for
people convicted of stealing energy cables and transformers from 10 years
to 30 years to curb the vice that’s prejudicing the facility utility of greater than
US$2 million yearly.

ZETDC requires greater than US$14 million to obtain intruder
detection devices to combat the scourge that continues to bleed the facility

The facility utility has since invited whistle-blowers to curb
the upsurge in vandalism and theft of electrical energy infrastructure. Chronicle

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