MATABELELAND South police and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority are offering a $4 000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest of seven notorious copper cable thieves.
The gang allegedly operates in three provinces - Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland South - and has looted cables worth millions of dollars.
Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the alleged ring leader Panganai Dube (34) of Mabaya Village, Chief Nyamondo in Mberengwa will get $ 1 000. Information that will lead to the arrest of the six other people attracts a reward of $500 per arrested individual.
The six suspects were identified as Wiseman Mapfumo (31) of Gonyai Village, Chief Bota in Zaka, Peace Mandizvidza (37) of Constantino Village under the same chief in Zaka, Claudius Mahuni (40) of Matare Village, Zvishavane or 1171 Dulibadzimu, Beitbridge, Oliver Mandizvidza (28) of Nyengera Village, Zvishavane or 3 Dulibadzimu, Beitbridge as well as two others identified only as Lasmus, who works in Musina in South Africa and MaEarth.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele said:
"A reward of $1 000 is on offer to anyone who helps with information that is going to lead to the arrest of Panganai Dube who is believed to be the ring leader of the group and $500 for each of the other suspects. Please help curb theft of cables by providing information. Anyone with information can contact Inspector Mutungwazi on cell number 0713732828, 0772740405 or (284)20983."
He said the suspects have caused extensive damage to Zesa power lines in thefts that have affected irrigation schemes, mines and hospitals.
"These are economic saboteurs not just thieves. As you are aware we have Government programmes such as Command Agriculture and they have been affected because cables which run irrigation equipment were stolen. Not only that, mines have also been gravely affected by the thefts," Insp Ndebele said.
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