crippled oil thief burnt.jpgA daring disabled 33-year old man was burnt and seriously injured by live electric current while attempting to drain oil from a ZESA transformer in Harare’s Eastlea suburb.

The one-handed man, who was identified as Gilbert Chocha of Number 4630 Jacha Road in Epworth, sustained burns on his left side including the left hand after the transformer he was trying to drain oil from exploded leading to him being seriously injured.

Chocha appears to have taken advantage of the transformer’s position as it is surrounded by shrubs which provides cover.

Some people who stay close to the transformer said they heard a loud explosion, followed immediately by a power blackout and decided to investigate.

“We heard some screams and rushed out to investigate only to find a man writhing in pain near the transformer,” said one Eastlea resident.

A 20-litre container and a travelling bag belonging to Chocha were also found at the scene.

The angry mob that gathered at the scene said Chocha’s disability restrained them from meting out instant justice as they will now go for days without electricity until the transformer is replaced.

The electricity utility has been losing millions of dollars due to vandalism of transformers and theft of copper cables.