Copper Cable thieves reap 10-year jail term
The Chisenjere Second Grade Magistrate’s Court in Lunzu, Blantyre on 2nd August 2016 sentenced Mphatso Tebulo and Matias Charles Makina to 6 and 4 years imprisonment respectively for the theft of 42 spans of MTL copper cables valued at K24 million.
Tebulo and his accomplice Matias Charles Makina faced one charge of theft of 37 spans of MTL copper cables valued at K23, 924, 385.00 and another charge of theft of 5 spans of MTL copper cables valued at K3, 233,025.00.
In a previous hearing the accused person, Mphatso Tebulo, had pleaded guilty to the theft charge leveled against him in the first case while in the second case he alone pleaded guilty whereas his colleague the second accused Matias Charles Makina had pleaded not guilty.
Judgment on the first accused was passed by Second Grade Magistrate Clifton Mankhamba who cited the first accused’s previous appearance in court on similar charges, the impact of his actions on the nation, and the need to discourage such acts of sabotage as reasons for the sentence given. The second accused was later also found to be guilty and duly sentenced by the same Magistrate in a ruling made at a later date.
MTL loses close to 300 million Kwacha annually in replacing stolen and sabotaged cables as well as potential revenue lost due to the malpractice. These are some of the factors inhibiting the country’s economy from growing as company resources that can be used for investment are used for repairs and replacements.
Theft and sabotage of Copper cables and other infrastructure continue to take a heavy toll on the profitability of the company as such acts not only cost the company the value of buying new cable but also loss of business and re-installation costs. Should you observe any cases of theft and sabotage please make a report by calling 80000 847 on MTL lines and 847 on other networks.