TWO suspected copper cable thieves were shot dead while four others were arrested Saturday at Uzande Business Centre in Zvimba after they were intercepted while stealing Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) power hawsers.
The incident follows the recent launch of a joint operation between ZESA and police to nail vandals destroying power distribution infrastructure.
According to a leaked internal police memorandum, on Friday night a gang of vandals proceeded to Farm 162, Marevanani at Zowa, where they demolished a 200KVA transformer.
The following morning, farm manager Brian Mariwa, whilst visiting the fields, spotted the gang in a thick bush stashing copper winding coils in sacks.
“Whilst at observation point, a white AXIO vehicle registration number AEP 3237 with two occupants halted on the dust road and the gang from the bush loaded the sacks of copper windings in the boot of the car,” the Memo reads.
“Mr Mariwa contacted ZRP Zvimba police station and (ZESA) Chegutu Ioss control. He also mobilised villagers to confront the gang of vandals. The villagers managed to apprehend one Lovemore Murimira of house number 3226 Glenview, Harare and the other five managed to escape with the loot in the vehicle,” the Memo said.
“On the same date at around 9am, ZESA Chegutu loss controllers and police detectives attended the scene and discovered a 200KVA transformer had been vandalised and three coils of copper windings had been stolen. Detectives interviewed the suspect Lovemore Murimira who had been apprehended by villagers who confessed to be among five people who had vandalised the transformer,” the Memo further reads.
“Detectives took Murimira to the scene for initial indications and while proceeding to Zvimba police station, the investigators were flagged to stop at a roadblock along Marevanani /Zowa dust road where two corpses were lying by the roadside. The pair of Farai Chigudu and Takudzwa Masese, both of Highfield in Harare, had been shot dead by police after violently attacking them for stopping their car,” says the Memo.
A digital scale, bolt cutter, pliers and seven plastic sacks loaded with coils of copper windings were recovered in the boot of their gate away car.
Mike Tatenda Chigodora of farm 48 Zowa, Lovemore Murimira of 3226 Glenview 1 Harare, Fungai Muzhuzha of Block 13, Geneva, Highfield, Harare, and Jackson Chirindira of 3091 Kambuzuma Section 5, Harare were taken in custody at ZRP Zvimba police station, and the case recorded under RRB 4648736.
The deceased’s bodies were conveyed to Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.