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Byo residents urged to blow whistle on copper cable thieves

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has urged residents to work together in protecting electricity infrastructure against vandalism and theft.

Organised copper cable theft syndicates have been targeting electricity cables plunging parts of the city into darkness.

The situation has seen some residents going for weeks without electricity.

Speaking to CITE, BPRA Secretary for Administration, Thembelani Dube said the people responsible for stealing the copper cables are often residents who would be working with people from other areas.

“We have heard of several cases where ZESA copper cables are being stolen and most of the time the people who steal those copper cables are people within that area working with people from other areas. Residents should learn to work together as these are the people who stay within our suburbs who know which ZESA lines can be a target,” said Dube.

ZESA Acting Western Region General Manager, Lloyd Jaji said they have not been able to replace all the stolen cables due to lack of spare parts.

“This stealing has been going on for some time and we have run out of conductors now. If the theft happens at a time if we don’t have conductors then they will have to wait whilst they are on the way,” said Jaji.

“We are taking down the copper and replacing it with aluminium. The sourcing of aluminium is underway and ongoing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo Provincial Police Spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube said the theft of copper cables has become a cause of concern and police are working together with other stakeholders to curb the crime.

 “So far from June 2021 to date, we have received 60 reports. Police are among the stakeholders that are fighting the theft of copper cables and some arrests are being made,” said Inspector Ncube.

“We have 21 cases that are pending in court where the suspects were arrested for theft of copper cables and we have two people who are serving 45 years for the theft of copper cables.”

He said some recoveries have been made but raised concern with some members of the public who are not reporting some of the cases.

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