Local power utility, ZESA Holdings, refuted reports that suggest that its employees are involved in the theft of electricity copper cables.
The authority said its employees frequently pick up bodies of people electrocuted while trying to steal electricity and none of the victims has been a ZESA employee.
ZESA Holdings’ Southern region manager Lovemore Chinaka said on Tuesday in a virtual discussion on energy issues:
The arrests and deaths on the lines so far are not of Zesa employees. There are so many people in the country with knowledge of electricity — contractors, students, pensioners, ex-employees, contract workers and thieves who don’t have any special training, but have taken time to understand how to steal.
You may want to know that we pick up corpses under the lines quite frequently. These are people who are enticed to do the dangerous acts, but have no idea of the risks involved. They just want the quick buck.
Chinaka said the thieves were hitting five to seven places every night in Bulawayo.
He added that vandalism has seen the power utility allocating money meant for other initiatives towards the restoration of the stolen equipment.
The company has said it is losing millions annually through theft and vandalism of its infrastructure.
Despite the offence attracting a 10-year jail sentence, Chinaka said this was not deterrent enough.
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe once told Parliament that his ministry was pushing for the removal of an option of a fine accompanied with a 30-year sentence.
The Bill seeks to provide penalties for the offence of vandalism of utilities through the theft of copper cables and for a requirement for all copper dealers to have a certificate of origin for all the copper they deal in.