Wednesday 17 January 2024


A police officer stationed at ZRP Tshabalala and his three accomplices were arrested for stealing copper cables worth US$6,000 from a ZETDC substation in Emakhandeni.

According to court documents, the quartet disguised themselves as ZETDC employees by wearing company worksuits and attempted to distract the security officer who was on duty by engaging her in conversation while they stole the copper cables.

However, they were chased off by community members who became suspicious because they saw the suspects loading copper cables into a vehicle that did not belong to the electricity distribution company.

The police officer, Tinashe Tawonakamwe (26) appeared at Western Commonage Magistrate’s Court with his co-accused, Samuel Ushe (34), Walter Magodo (35) and Pardon Karanda (32).

Western Commonage Regional Magistrate, Sibongile Msipa-Marondedze granted the four US$100 bail each.

”On 06 January 2024 at around 0630 hours, the accused persons proceeded to ZETDC Forestvale Substation, Emakhandeni, Bulawayo using a Silver Toyota Regius which was being driven by Shumba. Upon arrival, they parked the motor vehicle outside the substation premises,” State prosecutor Mellisa Dube said.

“Magodo and Karinda, who were dressed themselves in work suits inscribed ZETDC entered the substation premises where they misrepresented to the security guard who was manning the premises that they are ZETDC employees. They advised the security guard that they wanted to take some copper cables from the substation. The security guard requested to book them in the occurrence book and they indicated to her that they would book later after finishing their assignment.”

Dube said the two moved around the Substation and advised the security guard that they were hearing some strange noise coming from the Eastern side of the substation where there are transformers.

“They instructed the security guard to go and check what was happening. The security guard proceeded in the said direction. During the absence of the security guard, the two used a hacksaw to cut a 30-meter x 185 mm three-core armoured cable installed in the substation. When the security guard returned, she saw the accused persons going out carrying a piece of armoured cable to their vehicle,” she said.

“Members of the public became suspicious about the vehicle which the accused persons were using. They mobilized themselves and approached the accused persons who were loading the copper cable in their vehicle. The accused persons got into the vehicle and sped off. The members of the public managed to capture the vehicle registration number which the accused persons were using.”

Dube said the security guard advised her superiors who later advised ZETDC Loss Control officers. A police report was made, where two orange hacksaws and pliers were recovered from the scene.

“Investigations were made leading to the recovery of the vehicle. Shumba led police to the arrest of the other accused persons. The ZETDC jackets were recovered from Magodo’s bedroom. Shumba made indications on how they had committed the offence,” she said. CITE 


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