Solar thieves strike at clinic again

By Mvelo Mthiyane Zondo


STANMORE Clinic has been plunged into darkness and the storage of essential
drugs needing refrigeration dealt a blow after thieves, for the second time pounced
and broke into the facility in Gwanda North.
The thieves made off with two heavy duty solar batteries, which were used to power
the local primary health institution.
Matabeleland South Province acting police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector
Thandolwenkosi Moyo, confirmed the theft.
“I can confirm having received a report of solar batteries theft from Stanmore Clinic.
Unfortunately, we have not yet received a full report of what transpired”
“We will give the full report once it comes in,” said Moyo.
Ward 4 Councillor, Lobukhosi Malila, said the thieves used the same modus
operandi in stealing the gadgets as was used last year when the clinic lost both its
solar panels and batteries to thieves.
According to Malila, the thieves were spotted roaming around at 3am on Monday
morning and an hour later, they had broken into and taken the solar batteries.
“The method used in breaking into the clinic is similar to the previous one, hence we
suspect that these could be the same thieves or their network.
“It is unfortunate that when clinic staff discovered the presence of suspected thieves
there was slow reaction from the village head to whom a report was made. He was
not able to act swiftly to mobilise manpower to effect an arrest.”
Solar equipment thieves have been targeting health centres in the province with
other reports made from Beitbridge.
In January last year, two health institutions in Gwanda, Stanmore and Fumugwe
were hit by the thieves, who are believed to have a ready market in larger towns.
Police in Beitbridge are said to have released a man from the two-rooms’ section of
Beitbridge, who was caught with his car loaded with solar equipment stolen from a
clinic in Zezani.

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