Six Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) employees stationed in Hwange were arrested for stealing electricity transmission cables worth thousands at the company premises in the coal mining town.

Tawanda Mhaka (50) of Chibondo suburb employed as a stores officer, Allan Ncube (46) of Empumalanga employed as a heavy-duty operator, Max Phiri (36) of NRZ houses who is employed as diesel plant fitter, Teddy Makaza (46) of Chibondo employed as acting garage foreman, William Zhanero (59) of Chibondo, Hwange employed as a stores officer and Melford Homela (54) of Ingagula who is a supervisor for machine oratorical plant, appeared before Hwange provincial magistrate, Ms Fungai Dzimiri facing theft charges.

The six were not asked to plead to the charges and they were remanded in custody to today.

Ms Abigirl Jena who is employed as a loss control officer by ZPC is the complainant in the matter on behalf of the company.

Prosecuting, Ms Jenamisa Makanza said on December 19 at around 6.20pm, Zhanero was seen by Jena unlocking the outage gate and he invited Mhaka, Ncube, Phiri and Makaza to enter the outage stores.

The court heard that while inside, the quartet tied the loose ends of a roll of 4-core armoured cable and pulled it outside the store using a machine.

Rodney Ndlovu, a front-end loader operator who was sent by Homela came to the stores and he was instructed by the four accused persons to forklift the 4 core armoured cable outage stores. However, Ndlovu failed to lift the cable out.

Ncube brought a tipper truck before Mhaka, Phiri, Makaza and Zhanero tied the cable on the back of the tipper. Phiri pulled out the cable from the outage stores using the tipper truck for a distance of about 200m and dumped it.

“During that time, Jena who was closely watching the accused persons removing the cable intercepted them and demanded to know where they were taking it to,” said Ms Makanza.

Homela produced a store requisition form serial number 016932 which indicated that a 150m x3 core armoured cable was to be moved to Unit 4 to replace a burnt cable.

Jena confirmed the authenticity of the stores’ transaction from the senior electrical work boiler subsection foreperson, Mr Livingstone Ncube.

However, Ncube denied that there was such a requisition concerning the replacement of the three-core armoured cable.

Jena got suspicious and she invited other security personnel leading to the arrest of the accused persons.

Upon their arrest, it was discovered that the stores’ transaction form had not been fully completed. The transaction form indicated a 3-core armoured cable as opposed to the 4 armoured cable that the accused persons took.

Of late, ZPC has been hit by a series of thefts of critical components. Recently, some ZPC employees at Hwange Power Station connived with a Harare businessman to steal over 6 000 litres of diesel through an elaborate scheme involving fraudulent figures.