A temporary labourer for the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has been sentenced to 48 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing copper cables in Mzuzu, police records indicate.
James Phiri appeared before Mzuzu Magistrate’s Court on March 31 to answer charges of theft of the cables at Mzuzu Power Substation on March 30.
The 26-year-old convict appeared in court alongside his accomplice, Nedson Chitseko, to answer the charges of theft and receiving stolen goods, respectively.
It all started when well-wishers tipped off Escom security personnel and the police that some people were seen peeling copper cables in a maize garden behind Katoto Secondary School on March 29.
When the team arrived on the scene, they recovered 10 metres of 185mm copper cables, but the suspects had fled.
The cables, valued at K598 000, were taken to the station where the following day, four of the cables went missing.
Escom security personnel checked CCTV footage which proved that Phiri stole the materials.
Phiri, from Chiponde Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkupha, Likoma District, denied the charge of theft in court only toadmit the offence after CCTV footage evidence was played.
He alleged to have sold the cables to Chitseko from Mbete Village, T/A Chikowi in Zomba.