Unemployment to blame for copper cable theft: Mliswa

Unemployment to blame for copper cable theft: Mliswa
Unemployment to blame for copper cable theft: Mliswa

Unemployment to blame for copper cable theft: Mliswa

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa says rampant copper cable theft that is being experienced in the country is because of unemployment.

Zimbabwe has high levels of unemployment with many people turning to vend in a bid to make a living.

However, they are often harassed and arrested by both the municipal police and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

This is believed to have spurred the growth in the crime rate across the country.

While some have turned to armed robberies, house-breaking and kidnapping, some have turned to stealing copper cables and transformers.

Theft of copper cables and transformers has affected the smooth operation of such companies as ZESA and NRZ among others.

The government is trying to amend the Copper Trading Act in a bid to dissuade people from stealing copper.

However, speaking in the National Assembly, during the Second Reading stage of the Copper Control Bill, Honourable Mliswa said unemployment is the real reason why people are turning to crime.

‘’I want to depart a bit and for us to look at the source of the problem of copper being stolen. Is it not unemployment? We can be changing laws every day here without dealing with the real problem. 

‘’We have a position that the government gave about how many jobs were going to be created for the youths in this second republic.  How many have been created vis-à-vis what they promised?  

‘’It is the same as the drug problem. We will also come here and come up with a drug law again.  The issue is not the drug problem, it is the lack of employment.  Once we are able to tackle certain basics in life, these problems will not manifest.’’ He said.

Unemployment driving crime

According to Honourable Mliswa unemployment in Zimbabwe is the driving force behind corruption and economic meltdown.

‘’When you have an economy where there is unemployment, corruption is rife.  When corruption is rife, it involves even the top guys, the police and it is a cartel.  So, the very same people you expect to look after these things are not well remunerated.

‘’Right now we have a crisis of the war veterans’ welfare – they are not happy with it; the parliamentarians – are not happy with it and the civil servants are not happy with it.  I can go on.

‘’So, with these problems that we are faced with, we need to get the economy going.  The only way the economy can go is if we cut down on corruption.

‘’Secondly, our own resources, where are they going?  Fine we talk about copper but can I tell you about the most valuable minerals that are being smuggled in this country?  Gold and diamonds, so to me, we are really going for the low hanging fruits when we have got private jets that leave with gold here.  When we have got private jets that leave with diamonds and nobody talks about that; nobody talks about the $15billion diamonds which no money was accounted for. So, whilst I totally agree with that, let us be careful not to be overtaken by events,’’ he said.  

Zanu PF has failed to create jobs

The Norton legislator blamed Zanu PF for failing to implement some of its election promises especially employment creation.

‘’Can we go to the policies of this country, to the manifesto of the ruling party and rightfully so the governing Party.  What are they doing to provide employment so that people do not steal?  What are they doing to provide employment so that there is no abuse of drugs? 

‘’What are they doing to provide a better future for the young people so that the girl child is not married at the age of 14?  The reason why they are being married at the age of 14 is because their parents have no money – they want money.

‘’The sugar daddies go, and flash money and the next thing is they are selling out.  It is more than just stealing.  The source of the problem is we need to deal with the employment issue and from there; we will cut down on this – that is my contribution,’’ he said. 

Unemployment to blame for copper cable theft: Mliswa