Cabinet has approved the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022, which seeks to impose stiffer penalties for the abstraction or diversion of electricity to deter would-be offenders.
Addressing journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare on Tuesday, 10 May, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said the Bill was presented by the Attorney-General, Prince Machaya, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Said Mutsvangwa:
Cabinet considered and approved the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022, which was presented by the Attorney-General, Honourable Prince Machaya, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
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 when 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.
Last year, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) recorded over 1 200 cases of vandalism. Added Mutsvangwa:
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 revenue, which could have been used for development.
The Amendment Bill will deter would-be offenders through stiffer and mandatory sentences.