Zesco pylon thieves confess

SUSPECTED thieving villagers in Eastern Province have confessed and returned fittings of Zesco pylons they had allegedly stolen from the power utility’s US$150 million 33 kilovolt (KV) transmission line between Pensulo and Chipata.
This was after Zesco offered the suspects amnesty in the presence of police officers.
Zesco spokesperson Henry Kapata said the power utility decided to offer the villagers amnesty up to yesterday as a humane way of treating them.
Mr Kapata said some of the stolen properties on the Zesco line between Serenje and Chipata include bolts, angle bars, nuts and entire pylons, which the villagers use for making braziers and bicycles, among other things.
The villagers confessed during a meeting held with the police, district commissioners and chiefs who included Madzimawe, Mshoro and Malama.
“We had mounted 270 towers out of the 715 needed but the villagers stole 92. We have now told them to spy on each other and those with information leading to arrests will be paid K1,000,” Mr Kapata said.

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