Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
THE trial of two men who were recently arrested for allegedly stealing copper cables worth $10 000 belonging to Zesa and TelOne on the 80 km stretch along the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway has been set for 22 August.Gilbert Moyo (43) and Asifa Sibanda both of Makhakavhule area under Chief Stauze were arrested at the crime scene a few weeks ago while loading the loot into a car.
They are facing two counts of contravening a section of the Electricity Act and one of the Postal and Telecommunications Act. Police are still pursuing the other suspects James Sibanda and Paul Moyo who allegedly fled from the scene.
Beitbridge resident magistrate, Miss Gloria Takundwa, remanded them in custody.
Prosecutor Mr Foster Abheki told the court that on 7 July, the four went to Mapai area aboard a Nissan sedan registration numbers ABR4736 at around 8 pm where they allegedly cut 80 kg of underground cables belonging to Zesa and went away.
They then cut the cables into smaller pieces and stashed them into a tyre that was disguised as a spare wheel.
He said on 18 July a team of police detectives and officers from Zesa recovered the cables which had been hidden in Moyo’s bedroom. The cables were valued at $1 600.
Mr Abheki said earlier that day the group had cut down 350 kg of copper cables worth $7 000 at Matshiloni area which is 40 km along the Beitbridge- Masvingo road which they loaded in the same vehicle.
He said the offence came to light when there was an unusual blackout in the area prompting the detectives to team up with officials from Zesa to investigate. They found Moyo and Sibanda on the scene.
The court also heard that further investigations revealed that the registration plates affixed to the Nissan vehicle belonged to a Toyota Hiace panel van owned by one Witness Vureya of 181 Dulibadzimu suburb in the border town.
He said in the process the four also cut off several copper cables belonging to TelOne.
The other two suspects James Sibanda and Paul Moyo fled after getting wind of their associates’ arrest.
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