CHIPINGE — Two notorious oil dealers, who have been wreaking havoc in and around Chipinge draining electricity transformer oil, finally met their fate last week when they were jailed for an effective 10 years.
REPORT BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The duo, Michael Mudzamiri and Phillip Mandizvidza appeared before Chipinge magistrate Makamera Waini facing charges of contravening Section 6 of the Electricity Act.
The State led by prosecutor Thembalami Dhliwayo heard that on April 2, the two drained 110 litres of oil from a Zesa 33kv transformer near Gaza in Chipinge. This act resulted in a major power blackout in the area on the day in question.
Testifying in court, police detective constable Fanuel Nyamutsa, told the court that the accused persons voluntarily led them to the transformer and even demonstrated how they drained the oil.
He further revealed that the accused showed them the other five transformers, which they successfully drained without being apprehended by the police. However, in their defence both the accused persons denied the charges and told the court that they admitted to the offence after police officers assaulted them.
But magistrate, Waini, threw away their defence saying no medical report was ever produced as evidence to buttress their allegations and convicted the two due to overwhelming evidence.
Vandalism of Zesa equipment is on the surge in Manicaland province.
This has been attributed to the high unemployment rate in the country and high demand of copper cables in neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and South Africa where prices are reported to be lucrative.