16 SUSPECTS ARRESTED, 22 OTHERS WANTED FOR VANDALISM OF ELECTRICITY INFRASTRUCTURE

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As you are aware, the Joint Security Agencies of Flying Squad, Crime Intelligence and the respective territorial units of Mukono, Lugazi, Kassangati, Kyengera and KMP South, conducted several intelligence led operations that led to the arrest of 14 suspects, both vandals and scrap dealers, who were actively involved in the malicious damage and theft of Electricity Power Lines and other utility infrastructure from the 12.11.2022 till the 30.11.2022 in Kivuvu village, Mukono , Nasuti village, Mukono Kijude village Gayaza, that led to massive power blackouts. An assortment of exhibits was recovered from scrap dealers in Lugazi Municipality, Wakimese zone in Kyengera, social centre scrap yard, Nakitende scrap yard, and Kisenyi scrap dealers. A serious hunt for 22 other vandals and scrap dealers in on.

The facts gathered indicate that on the 12.11.2022 an intelligence led operation was carried out after two 132 KV transmission lines, from the Jinja based 180 MW Nalubaale and the 200 MW Kiira hydro plant were vandalized, leading to massive blackouts in the Central and Western Regions of the Country. Additional transmission lines of the 132KV Owen Falls – Lugogo transmission lines, were also vandalized at Kivuvu village, in Mukono district, leading to the collapse of 4 towers. Again, on the 13.11.2022, the Owen Falls – Mukono North – Mulago transmission line, was also vandalized at Nasuuti village in Mukono district, that forced one tower to collapse to the ground.

As a result, an intelligence led operation was carried out and 4 scrap dealer arrested. These included; Akunu Juliet, a 40 year old resident of Geregere in Lugazi Municipality; Oloka Joseph of Kitega ward, Safari John alias SO, a 40 year old resident of Geregere – Majani village and Kitata Uthuman a 35 year old resident of Kitega ward. An assortment of 46 pieces of electricity tower angle bars and pylons, bundles of electric cables and 3 cylinder heads were recovered. A manhunt for the other ring leaders who include; Ndwasi of Nakabisi village, Mukono, Ivan alias Isaac of Kitega in Lugazi, Juma a boda boda rider of Centenary Park – Lugazi, Ssenyange Joseph of Geregere Majani, Peter and Amos (both of Lugazi Municipality) is ongoing.

On the 29.11.2022, at around 10am, another intelligence led operation was carried out at Social Center Scrap yard in Mengo parish, Kampala Central Division, Kisenyi Scrap dealers opposite Ham Shopping mall building, in Central zone, Kisenyi 1 Parish, and Nakitende scrap yard, at Budonian village, Mengo parish in Kampala Central Division. A total of 6 suspects who included Ssebagala Robert, Maganda Arafat, Kyomugisha Racheal, Naluyima Aisha, and Nabakooza Allen, were arrested and an assortment of approximately 40 tones of angle lines used to construct high voltage power lines were recovered. In addition, railway line material, telecom mast angle bars, road construction materials belonging to UNRA and solar panels belonging to KCCA, were also recovered. A serious hunt for 15 other scrap dealers who include; Ssemakula Paul, Mumbere, Ssegona Richard (from Kisenyi scrap yard, Muhamya Julius, Yasin, Mama Bukoto, Geoffrey (from Nakitende scrap yard) and Mirite Mohammad, Hakim, Kavule, Kabwonjera, Mudu Emmanuel, Siraje and Jimmy are actively ongoing.

In addition, on the 3.11.2022, at around 11am, another intelligence -led operation, was carried out in Wakimese zone, Kyengera town council in Nsangi division, where 4 suspects were arrested. These included; Arinaitwe Venansio, a 36 year old resident of Wakimese zone, Kamadi Giberya, a 20 year old of Kayebe zone in Gayaza, Kambira Joseph, a 30 year old resident of Mulago-wandegeya and L/CPL Baryahebwa James, who was used to transport the vandalized items in Caldina registration number UAP947W. The suspects in conspiracy with Atwine John of Kasangati, vandalized the electricity wires of Kijude village. An assortment of exhibits was recovered from them.

These acts of theft and vandalism of utility infrastructure, leads to massive load shedding, which leads to high costs of replacement and also disrupts the well-being of domestic users and commercial businesses.

We implore all members of the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities around power installations in their areas, to the local councils and nearest security agency. As the Joint Security Agencies, we remain committed to maintaining the safety of all utility infrastructure in the country and will aggressively pursue, all perpetrators causing significant damage to utility infrastructure.

 

SCP Enanga Fred

Police Spokesperson

5th December 2022

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