Cabinet has approved the Electricity Amendment Bill which will put in place stiffer penalties for the abstraction or diversion of electricity, or the use of such electricity knowing that it was illegally abstracted or diverted.
The Bill will also remove the option of a fine when one is convicted of the crime.
Vandalism of electricity transformers also came up for debate during this Thursday’s Senate Question and Answer session, with the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Magna Mudyiwa speaking on the corrective measures being put in place. She said:
ZESA is suffering huge losses due to theft and vandalism of the national electricity infrastructure. In 2021, ZESA recorded 1 237 cases of theft and vandalism, resulting in huge losses of revenue, which could have been used for development. The Amendment Bill will deter would-be offenders through stiffer and mandatory sentences.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) recently reported that theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure contributed 12 per cent of total electricity-related accidents.
Some of the power cuts across the country are being caused by vandalism to its properties including transformers and cables.
Thieves take cables and oil in transformers and sell them for a song.
In 2020, ZESA disconnected over 1500 Stoneridge, Harare households from the national power grid after it emerged that a former employee of an approved contractor made the connections without following the normal procedures.
More: Pindula News; ZBC News