‘Gweru’s Copper cables queen mother,’ Prisca Mupini (39), has been jailed for 10 years over theft of copper cables valued at US$1 000 in Gweru’s Woodlands suburb.
She was part of a three copper cables gang whose two other members are Prince Darawanda aged 28 and Sydney Mungofa aged 32 who also received the same sentence on Friday.
Two other accused persons in the case, Perfect Chiromo aged 22 and 23-year-old Christian Nkosana were acquitted, ZBC News reported.
The state led by Mr Talent Tadenyika argued that on the 27th of January this year, Darawanda and Mungofa hatched a plan to cut copper cables in the Woodlands suburb in contravention of the Zimbabwe Electricity Act.
The two were acting on instructions from ‘Gweru’s Copper cables queen mother,’ Prisca Mupini, who has been on the police radar for a long time but could not be prosecuted due to lack of sufficient evidence.
The duo allegedly called Chiromo and Nkosana to ferry their loot the following day on the pretext that they had loaded firewood in sacks.
Their plan was busted by an alert police officer who was doing his early morning exercise.
The three will serve a combined sentence of 30 years.
Copper cable thieves target electricity and communication networks causing problems like power outages and communication disruptions. The theft is driven by the high demand for copper, which is used in many products.
The government and stakeholders have tightened screws on the theft of copper cables that had seen most parts of the country going for months without electricity due to vandalism.