Top businessman convicted for stealing Zesa cables

Top Zvishavane businessman Kudakwashe Diza (43) and his companion Mark Tiweni (39) were yesterday slapped with a 48-month jail sentence each for stealing 810kg of aluminium cables belonging to Zesa Holdings.

Zvishavane magistrate Archie Wochiunga suspended 18 months of the sentence as the power utility had managed to recover the cables, leaving the duo to serve a 30-month jail term at Zvishavane Prison.

The court heard that on a day unknown to the State, Diza and Tiweni went to a house in Council Park, where the power utility was installing power cables and stole 810kg of aluminium cables.

The duo hired two Pick n Pay staffers, Tafadzwa Chitando (23) and William Banda (26), who were on their way home from work to load their loot into a truck and left for Masvingo.

The vehicle was intercepted by detectives at a roadblock along the Masvingo-Zvishavane Highway.

Police demanded confirmation papers for possession of aluminium cables after Diza claimed they had bought the cables from Kenstra Engineering Company in Harare. The duo failed to produce purchase receipts, which led to their arrest.

Banda and Chitando were also arrested for assisting to load stolen cables, but were later released and appeared in court as State witnesses. The cables, which were later identified by Zesa loss control officers, were valued at US$8 100.

Tinashe Maponde represented the State.

Meanwhile, a headmaster at Chidyamakono Primary School in Chivi, Victor Mugwindiri, escaped jail after he was caught with a four-metre long steel pole belonging to TelOne which he wanted to use for the construction of a school playing centre. He was pardoned.

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