Five suspects are in the custody of Wamala Region Police Headquarters in Mityana district for alleged vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure. The suspects are Jimmy Ssemugabi, a resident of Kibibi garage in Mityana district; Nsozi Maximoni from Kasana Cell, East Division in Mubende district; Kintu Patrick alias Pato, a resident of Rwenzori cell, Ntwetwe in Kyankwanzi district; Katimbo Noah, a resident of Kyetume cell in Kiboga district; and Kisembo Jude, a resident of Kabaka Anjagala cell in Kiboga district.
The suspects were picked up in an operation covering Mityana, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, and Mubende districts. Racheal Kawala, the Wamala Region Police Spokesperson, says that the operation targeted scrap and electric shop dealers. Kawala explains that security recovered exhibits, including cables and earth wires, among other items, belonging to both UMEME and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
She said that the exhibits were recovered from the areas of Ntwetwe in Kyankwanzi district, Kasana Cell in Mubende district, Kibibi Garage in Mityana district, Bukomero Town Council and parts of Kiboga Town Council. According to Kawala, the operations are ongoing. “Our operations will continue with the aim of ending theft and vandalism of electric infrastructure across the region. “We call upon the public to share any information that may help curb the vice and bring the perpetrators to book,” Kawala appealed.
In June this year, Umeme Uganda Limited entered into a partnership with security agencies from 9 districts to conduct joint activities to crackdown on the growing vice of electric infrastructure vandalism. The districts are Mityana, Kassanda, Mubende, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Nakaseke, Kakumiro, and Butambala.
The partnership followed the arrest of three men climbing electric poles at Myanzi village on the Mityana-Mubende highway in Kassanda District. The suspects who are on trial before the courts of law are Kyagaba Daniel, Magola Rasul, and Sekidde Jordan, all residents of Kilunji village, Kasana in Mubende Municipality.
According to power distributor, Umeme Uganda Limited, they lost more than Shillings 25 billion in 2021 in restoring the vandalized power lines, yet it would have been used to extend power to another 3 villages. Umeme said that the vandalism of electric installations cost the company 3.6 billion schillings between January and June this year.