By Mashonaland East Correspondent
Five men were arrested this week after being found in possession of six Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) vandalised transformers worth thousands of dollars stashed in a mountain in Wedza.
Mashonaland East police spokesperson, Tendai Mwanza confirmed the arrest Wednesday of Lloyd Gwati (29), Cosnath Moyo (22), Petros Manjengwa (24), Pascal Makamero (20) and Nathan Chiremba (22) at Rwenje River Bridge in Wedza.
“Police, who acted on a tip-off proceeded to Rwenje River Bridge where they discovered a white Toyota Wish with five suspects. Upon search, police recovered a white sack containing electrical cables, a three metre rope (covered in) oil, nine spanners, one 70cm chisel, one dagger and one blue flick knife,” Mwanza said.
He added: “Further investigations led to the recovery of six transformers which were hidden in a mountain”.
The five suspects are expected to appear in court at the Marondera magistrate’s courts soon.
According to energy minister, Fortune Chasi, a ZESA transformer is valued at between US$10 000 and US$50 000 each depending on size.
Last month, Chasi told Parliament that ZESA required more than US$100 million to replace over 2 000 transformers that had been vandalised in recent years.
The minister further called for a new legislation that would impose deterrent sentences in order to curb vandalism of transformers and also deal with the issuance of copper trading licences.
The current maximum sentence for stealing ZESA or TelOne cables and transformers is 10 years.