Zimbabwe Republic Police have arrested suspected ring leader of a group of six ZESA cables thieves arrested while booked at a lodge in Zvishavane.
The arrested thieves implicated one Dambaza who was the alleged ring leader and had paid for the lodgings in the mining town.
As disclosed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Nick Mangwana, Descent Dambaza Masasa of Park was arrested together with Parkson Makumelo Hatfield in Harare and were found in possession of various tools used in committing the crimes.
Dambaza, is the one who would switch off electricity so that his gang could steal, presumably he is an engineer of sorts. Mangwana said;
Two suspected ZESA Vandals were arrested today. Descent Dambaza Masasa of Park and Parkson Makumelo of Hatfield in Harare.
Dambaza was the alleged sponsor of the gang that included Takudzwa Mateza who was arrested last week here in Bulawayo and indicated various vandalised places including Shangani Mine Turn off, where the gang had vandalised transformers.
Parkson was the foreman of the gang and was the one who switched off power for the gang to vandalise. They were driving a Toyota Hilux D4D vehicle and were found in possession of an assortment of tools.
The government is working on a law that will ensure that all convicted copper thieves will be imprisoned for a period of not less than 30 years.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters during the weekly post-Cabinet media brief a fortnight ago that Cabinet has approved the Copper Control Amendment Bill.
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If the Copper Control Amendment Bill become an Act, any convicted copper thief will be jailed for 30 years with no option to pay a fine. Said Mutsangwa:
Cabinet was informed that the Bill seeks to provide for the offence of vandalism of utilities through the theft of copper which is then sold on the black market.
The Bill makes it illegal for any person to possess copper without a certificate of origin for that copper.
In order to curb the theft of copper, the police will require anyone found in possession of copper to provide the names and addresses of both the seller and the purchaser, description and quantity of the copper and the reasons for disposal.
Convicted copper thieves will now be liable to imprisonment for a period of not less than 30 years without the option of a fine.
In addition, any vehicle or device used to illegally transport copper will now be forfeited to the state.