2 men get 10 years in jail each for stealing railway copper cables


Two men sentenced to 10 years each for copper cables theft from railway line

In a significant victory against railway theft, two individuals, Silence Magwenzi (22) and Zvikomborero Chidau (28), have been handed effective 10-year prison sentences by Harare magistrate Mrs Ruth Moyo.

The men were found guilty of contravening the Railways Act after being caught in possession of 8 kilograms of copper cables stolen from a railway line. Their arrest and subsequent sentencing mark a significant step in combating the recurring issue of railway theft in the country.

The State, represented by National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Loss Control Officer Mr Freddy Mufandaidza, acted as the complainant in the case. According to the prosecution led by Mrs Mandirasa Chigumira, the incident took place on November 5, around midnight, near the Feeder Station in Harare. Mufandaidza, accompanied by his fellow loss control officer, Tapiwa Chiwara, was conducting patrol duties along the railway line stretching from Harare to Gweru when they noticed Magwenzi and an unidentified accomplice digging up an earth copper cable, which was buried underground along the railway tracks.

Approaching the two suspects, Mufandaidza and Chiwara identified themselves and proceeded to search them. However, the unidentified accomplice, known only as Trevor Madhodha, managed to escape the scene, leaving Magwenzi and a sack containing the stolen copper cable, a metal mattock, and an iron bar behind.

Magwenzi was apprehended on the spot, and during subsequent interrogation by the NRZ loss control officers, he implicated Chidau and Madhodha as his accomplices. Acting on this information, the officers were able to apprehend Chidau, but Madhodha remains at large.

The stolen copper cable, weighing a total of 8 kilograms and valued at US$280, was successfully recovered by the authorities. This significant recovery underscores the determination of the NRZ and law enforcement agencies to curb the theft of railway infrastructure, which not only causes financial losses but also disrupts vital services and poses safety hazards.

The sentencing of Magwenzi and Chidau sends a strong message that railway theft will not be tolerated, and those involved will face severe consequences. It also highlights the collaborative efforts of the NRZ and law enforcement agencies in combating this criminal activity.

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