Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bulawayo man sentenced to 10 years in Jail for illegally reconnecting electricity to his house after Zesa disconnected power for not paying bills

A 40-year-old man from Bulawayo’s Mzilikazi suburb was yesterday sentenced to 10 years in jail for illegally reconnecting power to his house after being disconnected for not paying bills.
Edward Mpala of M54 was convicted on his own plea of guilty to violating a section of the Electricity Act by regional magistrate Mr Mark Dzira yesterday.
Mr Dzira said there were no special circumstances in Mpala’s case and noted that many people had been electrocuted while trying to illegally restore power after being disconnected.
The magistrate said Zesa was also losing a lot of money because of people like Mpala hence the need to pass a deterrent sentence.
He sentenced him to an effective 10 years saying it was mandatory for anyone who contravenes Section 60A(1)(c) of the Electricity Act if there are no special extenuating circumstances.
In mitigation, Mpala had told the court that he reconnected power because he could not afford alternative sources of energy as he was not employed.
He said it was during winter and the situation was unbearable for his children who were going to school.
Mpala owed Zesa $1 298.50 and Zesa electricians disconnected power at his house by removing a circuit breaker on 1 July.
He bought a new circuit breaker and fitted it.
The offence was discovered by Zesa electricians on 9 July when they were inspecting disconnected houses and noticed that Mpala’s fridge was on.
A report was made to the police leading to his arrest.
Mr Goodluck Katenaire appeared for the State.
Source: chronicle

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