Hwange Copper Thief Found With 682kg, Jailed 12 Months

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

A HWANGE man has appeared in court for illegal possession of close to 700kg copper suspected to have been stolen from ZESA electricity lines. The copper is valued at $11 602.50

Same Gundidza, 23, residing at Railway Quarters in the coal mining town, was sold out by members of the public who tipped police detectives that he was in possession of stolen copper.

The detectives raided his house on 15 January this year, found 682.5kg of copper and Gundidza was arrested and charged with violating the Copper Control Act, which prohibits one in dealing in copper without a licence.

He pleaded guilty when he appeared before Hwange magistrate Sheila Nazombe who went on to sentence him to 12 months in jail.

Prosecuting John Mutyakaviri said Gundidza told police that he had bought the copper from Samson Ncube, Dumisani Sibanda, Lloyd Change and Knowledge Siakakuwa.

“On 15 January, detectives from the CID Unit received information that Gundidza was in possession of copper at his house. Acting on the information, the detectives proceeded to the said house where they conducted a search and recovered copper weighing 682.5 kg,” said the prosecutor. 

Asked where he got the copper, Gundidza indicated that he bought it from a group of copper dealers comprising Ncube, Sibanda, Change and Siakakuwa.

Detectives asked for a licence but he failed to produce it leading to his arrest.

Cases of theft of electricity copper cables are common in Hwange and Binga.

Recently, a man was jailed 10 years after cutting more than two kilometres of ZESA copper wires in Binga. 

Last year, thieves also vandalised electricity cable lines in Kamativi resulting in closure of the Kamativi Zimdigital transmitter which is still not working after the criminals stole about 6km of copper cables.