Cable thief jailed for 20 years

A 38-YEAR-OLD Mutare man, John Katerere, who last month stole over 1 000 metres of Zesa power cables, has been slapped with a 20-year jail term.

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BY OBEY MANAYITI

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court

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Katerere (38) was convicted on his own plea of guilty to tampering with Zesa gadgets when he appeared before Mutare magistrate Sekai Chiundura on Tuesday.

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He will, however, serve a jail term of 10 years after half of the sentence was set aside on condition of good behaviour.
\nThe court heard that sometime in January this year, Katerere and his alleged accomplice Francis Binda cut 850m of Zesa cables at Inn on the Vumba.

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Binda has been further remanded to February 24 for trial after he denied the charge.

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Police detectives from the Minerals Unit received information that the two had been seen carrying the copper cables along the Mutare-Masvingo Highway.

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Acting on that tip-off, the detectives teamed up with Zesa security officers and intercepted them along the way, leading to the recovery of bundles of copper cables, a pair of pliers, a 12-metre rope and hacksaw blade.

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On January 30, Katerere cut approximately 300 metres of copper cables at Menemuno Farm in Dangamvura and caused a blackout in the high-density suburb.

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In mitigation, Katerere said he committed the offence to foot his wife’s hospital bills.

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Donald Mudadirwa appeared for the state.