Gweru (New Ziana)- The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) Southern region has warned criminals to stop vandalizing national infrastructure as they risk a longer jail sentence if President Emmerson Mnangagwa approves the Copper Control Act.
ZESA lost property worth US$8 million and 288 transformers in 1237 cases of vandalism in the past two years.
Thieves have been targeting transformers, pylons, poles, copper wires and electricity conductors.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ engagement meeting, ZETDC Loss Control general manager Festo Kadembo said that the company recently approached the judiciary through the Attorney General’s office and there are three bills that are yet to be approved by the President to become laws for vandalism.
“On the bills to come, the option for fine has been scrapped and the five-year sentence has been increased to 10 years in jail under the Copper Control Act,” he said.
Kadembo said the jail term is expected to increase to 20 years with the President’s approval.
In trying to further dissuade vandalism of its equipment, ZETDC warned its employees that in the event of involvement in theft and penalties, more years will added on their jail term.
“Let me warn those who have been surviving on vandalizing ZETDC’s property that the arm of the law is going to catch up with them,” said Kadembo.
The ZETDC is currently pursuing strategies to contain the menace from further damaging and interfering with electricity networks.
“No hope has been lost in trying to fight vandalism,” said Kadembo
Members of the public have been urged to appreciate, have sense of ownership and accountability towards the national infrastructure.