Cuthbert Dube has been slapped with a 20-year-jail sentence after he was convicted of stealing copper cables and transformer breakers and selling them to unsuspecting customers in Harare.
Dube, not the Zifa president, a 38-year-old man from Mkoba Village 1 had pleaded not guilty to two counts of contravening the Electricity Act, when he was arraigned before Gokwe-Kwekwe regional magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo on Friday.
He was convicted after a fully contested trial and sentenced to 10 years on each count and will serve an effective 20 years.
A circuit or electricity breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit.
Prosecutor Mr Robert Ndlala told the court that sometime last year, during the period extending from November to December, Dube connived with two other suspects who were still at large to steal electricity breakers and copper cables in Kwekwe which resulted in a blackout and sold them to unsuspecting customers in Harare.
On November 24 last year Dube went to Potohuru Substation in Kwekwe in the company of two other accused persons and stole three breakers which resulted in an electricity blackout in Mbizo high density suburb.
The court heard that Dube sold the cables to unsuspecting customers in Harare.
It is alleged that on December 4 the same year, he went to Mbizo high density suburb in Kwekwe where he stole another breaker and 20 meters of copper cables and sold them to unsuspecting customers in Harare.
The court also heard that police got a tip-off from members of the public to the effect that Dube was selling electricity breakers and copper cables.
He was arrested and police recovered some of the stolen property worth thousands of dollars.