Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi has proposed a 30-year mandatory prison sentence for vandalising ZESA infrastructure.
This comes after the power utility has suffered losses amounting to US$40 million through the vandalism of transformers.
In a recent interview with The Herald on the sidelines of the Energy Innovation Summit in the capital, Minister Chasi said stealing power cables was an act of sabotage against the country and the law should severely punish those found guilty.
“I have made a proposal to Cabinet and I will be taking the same suggestion to Parliament soon,” he said.
“We need to make it a law that people who damage and steal ZESA infrastructure be sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.”
“When a transformer is stolen, it affects lives,” he said.
“People who are in hospitals who will be in need of power, people with businesses and other essential services are affected.
“There is need for us to put into perspective the impact of these acts of sabotage against the country which is setting us back in pursuit of development.”