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Zesa transformer thieves jailed 10 years

The man sustained severe injuries after being electrocuted while vandalising a Zesa transformer
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A 28-YEAR-OLD Chimanimani man who sustained severe injuries after being electrocuted while vandalising a Zesa transformer has been jailed 10 years for committing the offence.

Witness Nyakupuka of Jinga Village under Chief Mutambara’s area was arrested by detectives after visiting a clinic to seek medical attention for the injuries sustained during the vandalism of the Zesa property.

When he initially attempted to seek medical treatment at Birchenough Bridge Hospital, he was asked to produce a police report, but failed to do so.

He went back home.

Nyakupuka proceeded to Chakohwa Clinic, but was arrested following a tip-off.

He implicated his accomplice, Misheck Masunungure of Mutema area in Chipinge, who was also arrested.

The two recently appeared before Chipinge regional magistrate, Mr Noel Mupeiwa, for contravening Section 60A (3) of the Electricity Act 13:19 (cutting, damaging or interfering with electricity apparatus).

Nyakupuka pleaded guilty, while Masunungure denied the offence.

Mr Themba Dhliwayo prosecuted.

It was the State’s case that on June 10, Nyakupuka connived with Masunungure and two others who are still at large to vandalise Zesa transformers.

“The gang proceeded to Singizi Secondary School in Chipinge and went to a Zesa substation where they used various tools to take down and dismantle a 25KVS transformer before stealing the copper windings inside. The gang went away noticed. The total value of the stolen property was $812 500 and nothing was recovered,” he said.

Mr Dhliwayo said on June 11, the gang went to a substation at Mvurachena Primary School with the intention of vandalising it and stealing the cables inside.

“Upon arriving at the substation, Nyakupuka climbed onto the transformer to cut the electric conductor jumpers using a hack-saw so as to interrupt the transformer’s electric current.

“During the process, Nyakupuka got into contact with the electric current and was electrocuted. He sustained multiple severe injuries on the face, his palms and on the left thigh.

“Nyakupuka was rushed to Birchenough Bridge Hospital by his accomplice who dumped him upon arrival and disappeared with the stolen copper. He was detained overnight before being released the following morning after being asked to bring a police report on his next visit to the hospital,” said Mr Dhliwayo.

He added that on June 13, Nyakupuka proceeded to Chakohwa Clinic for treatment, only to be arrested by the police following a tip-off.

“He was interviewed and implicated his three accomplices, thereby leading to the arrest of Masunungure. The two other accomplices are still at large,” said Mr Dhliwayo.

The accused was medically examined at Chipinge District Hospital and the medical report compiled confirmed that his injuries are consistent with electrocution.

Mr Mupeiwa jailed Nyakupuka and Masunungure for 10 years each after overwhelming evidence implicated them to the commissioning of the offence. – Manica Post