Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
POLICE have launched a manhunt for suspects who stole 2 400 metres of copper cables worth $10 790 from West Nicholson area in Gwanda.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said the offence was discovered last week on Thursday around 11am by a Zesa employee.
“We are investigating a case of theft of copper which occurred at an Airdrome in West Nicholson where 2 400 metres of copper cables were stolen. The offence was discovered by a Zesa employee who was attending to a complaint of power disruptions which had been reported by community members following the offence. We suspect that the offence could have been committed during the early hours of Thursday.
“The cables were not recovered and the suspects had fled from the scene. We appeal to members of the public with information that could lead to the arrest of these suspects to contact any police station near them,” he said.
Three men recently appeared at the Gwanda magistrate’s court for stealing 3 600 metres of copper cables valued at $11 250, transformer oils worth $3 000 and also damaging a transformer valued at $7 000.
Denovan Chikona (39) of Zvishavane, Rodeny Masukwedza (32) and Cruiz Mutero (20) both from Kuwadzana in Harare were remanded in custody to 19 September after they pleaded not guilty to a charge of cutting, damaging, or interfering with copper cables.
Their bail application was turned down. The State opposed bail citing that the accused persons were facing a serious offence and were likely to abscond.
Prosecuting, Mrs Teererai Mahohoma said the three men committed the offence on 13 May and were intercepted while they were transporting the loot.
She said the value of damaged and stolen property is $21 250.
Meanwhile, a 20-year-old Gwanda mine worker has been arrested for offering a police officer a $132 bribe in a bid to evade arrest. Nkosiyapha Sibanda who works at Bima Mine was not asked to plead when he appeared briefly before Gwanda provincial magistrate, Mr Maphios Moyo facing bribery charges.
He was remanded in custody to 12 September. Prosecuting, Ms Teererai Mahohoma said Sibanda tried to offer a bribe to a cop in order to evade being arrested for public violence.
“On 28 August around 10am, detectives who were on crime surveillance in Gwanda CBD received a tip off that Sibanda who was wanted in connection with a case of public violence was at Bima Mine.
“The police then proceeded to the mine where they arrested Sibanda and escorted him to the Gwanda Police Station. Along the way Sibanda offered Lovemore Joe from the Criminal Investigation department $132 cash as a bribe to facilitate his release. This was in the presence of other detectives,” she said.