In Kenya, an Eldoret court has sentenced two suspects to 10 years imprisonment each after they were found guilty of stealing and vandalising transformers belonging to Kenya Power.
Wesley Rotich was apprehended at Ngeria area of Uasin Gishu county on 7th June 2016 while vandalising a 200KVA transformer worth KShs.2.5 million ($29,776) while James Ngondoli was arrested on 11th October 2017 at Jua Kali area in Eldoret for stealing a transformer worth KShs.2 million ($19,851), being in possession of copper windings and 400 litres of transformer oil.
Kenya Power’s Security Services Manager Maj. Geoffer Kigen (Rtd) welcomed the sentence saying it will serve to deter criminals who vandalise electricity distribution equipment and undermine the quality of power supply to customers.
“We will not relent on the war against vandalism, illegal power connections and other crimes that undermine the quality of power supply to our customers and pose danger to electricity consumers. The court ruling is a boost to our operations to stamp out these vices.
“We urge the public to report any suspicious activities to our offices or nearest police stations,” he said. Read more…
Nation-wide crackdown on crime
In addition to inconveniencing customers, theft of transformers negatively impacts on the Company’s revenues as it reduces electricity sales and increases the cost of replacing the assets. Read more…
With concerted efforts to curb vandalism and crime against its assets, Kenya’s state-owned power utility, Kenya Power, reported a 40% reduction in criminal activity against its assets in late 2017 due to increased crime prevention operations.
In November, the utility noted that a recorded 40% reduction in the number of vandalised transformers in the year ended 30th June 2017 from 222 in the previous year to 133.
Earlier this week, the utility reported that seven suspects were arraigned in Milimani courts after they were arrested in Pipeline Estate in a crackdown on illegal power connections.
Three service cables, 5 poles and 1,000 meters of conductor wire were recovered.
The sentence comes less than two weeks after a Marimanti court granted a Kenya Power employee and one other suspect KShs.2 million ($29,776) bond each with no option of cash bail for vandalism of conductors at Tunyai area, Tharaka Nithi County.