The government is working on a bill that will make it illegal to possess copper without a license in Zimbabwe.
Broadcasting Minister at a press briefing yesterday said the Cabinet had considered the Copper Control Amendment Bill which also seeks to deal with theft of copper in the country.
“The bill makes it illegal for any person to possess copper without a certificate of origin for that copper,” she said.
“Cabinet was informed that the Bill seeks to provide for the offence of vandalism of utilities through the theft of copper which is then sold on the black market.”
Thieves have been targeting copper products such as wires and this has been disrupting communication and power lines which are produced from the metallic brown mineral.
Mutsvangwa said, “In order to curb theft of copper, the Police will require anyone found in possession of copper to provide the names and addresses of both the seller and the purchaser, description and quantity of the copper and the reasons for disposal.”
“Convicted copper thieves will now be liable to imprisonment for a period of not less than 30 years without the option of a fine.”
“In addition, any vehicle or device used to illegally transport copper will now be forfeited to the State,” the Minister went on.
Copper as a good conductor of heat is used in electrical equipment for wiring and motors.
The mineral is also used in construction for roofing and plumbing.