Cop jailed 10 years for stealing ZETDC aluminium cables

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By Staff Reporter

A Karoi based police officer has been slapped with a 10-year mandatory sentence following conviction for stealing Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) 333kgs of aluminium cables.

Samson Murire will endure the next 10 years behind bars after his application challenging conviction and sentence was trashed by High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero.

The judge ruled it was clear Murire was part of the syndicate and now shifting blame to his accomplices.

Murire was jailed together with four accomplices following conviction of tampering with apparatus for the supply and generation of electricity.

Court heard the ex-cop attempted to use his status as a policeman to evade police roadblocks and drive the cables from Karoi to Harare.

“It is not unusual that members of a criminal gang play different roles in the commission of an offense.

“Appellant (Murire) was involved in the planning of that offense. He sought and communicated information to assist in avoiding detection of the crime.

“But for the fact that all five were arrested before his gang members arrived where he was, he was earmarked to drive the taxi to Harare where the cables were to be sold.

“A whole officer in charge of crime would not have any business in directing criminals on how to avoid the long arm of the law unless he was counted amongst them.

“The appeal against conviction is unmeritorious. So too is the attempt to find special circumstances through the back door. In the result, the appeal be and is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” ruled the judge.

Murire and accomplices were arrested after a taxi driver, Professor Tadyanemhandu, who was hired to ferry them to Harare reported the matter to the police.

They were tried and jailed 10 years each.

Murire then challenged both his conviction and sentence arguing that he had not participated in the cutting and removal of the cables.

He further argued that the lower court had erred in finding him guilty as the cables had been abandoned for over 16 years and therefore could not be stolen.

The judge found no merit in his application.