By Justin Mahlahla
Cabinet has considered and approved the Electricity Amendment Bill of 2022, which prescribes stiffer penalties to theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure.
The Bill was presented by the Attorney-General, Mr Prince Machaya, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
According to a post-cabinet briefing presented this Tuesday by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, the Bill introduces 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 where one is convicted of the crime. Furthermore, the Bill introduces stiffer penalties for the transportation of material used in connection with the generation, transmission, distribution or supply of electricity without the option of a fine,” she added.
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 of revenue, which could have been used for development.
The Amendment Bill will deter would-be offenders through stiffer and mandatory sentences.