A FOUR-MEMBER gang, including a Shabanie mine employee that connived to steal 535kg of Zesa copper cables in October last year has been slapped with 10 years of imprisonment each.
Cain Majokwa (40) a machine minder at Shabanie mine, together with Jonasi Simbarashe (30), Brighton Mabweazara (35) and George Maruta (26) of Oreti, Chivi and Gokwe respectively, are going to spend the next 10 years behind bars after the Zvishavane court, presided by magistrate Story Rushambwa found them guilty of theft of Zesa cables.
Prosecutor Stanly Ncube told the court that on October 28 last year, the four men cut down Zesa poles in Nil and Birthday residential areas using an axe in a bid to steal copper power cables for sale.
The four are believed to have cut the cables into small pieces in order to smelt them.
Detectives from Zvishavane police station received a tip-off from members of the public over the scam and managed to arrange an ambush in the area around 11pm.
The detectives observed the four committing the offence and Majokwa and his team rolled up the pieces of the copper cables before piling them on one place, ready for the intended market.
During early hours of the following day, a detective assistant inspector from Mutare arrived driving an MP300 Nissan Hardbody registered as ACU9986 pretending to be the driver of the buyer.
Upon arrival at the scene, the four began loading the copper cables into the truck.
After doing so, detectives who were hiding in the bush appeared and confronted the gang, but only managed to arrest Simbarashe and Mabweazara.
Maruta and Madyokuwa managed to flee from the cops. Some 535kg of Zesa cables were recovered at the scene.
Police managed to make further investigations and arrested the other two.
Cables and an axe were used as exhibits during the trial.
Rushambwa warned the public against stealing Zesa cables, as it was a very serious crime.