As you are all aware, on the 15.09.2022, the Joint Security Agencies in Mityana District, conducted an intelligence led operation and arrested 16 suspects who were actively involved in the malicious damage and theft of Electricity Power Lines and National Water Pipes and Equipment in Ssekanyonyi Town Council, Mityana District, between the 5th – 9th, September 2022. As a result, 13 suspects were arrested from Surex Guest House. These included; Damba Joshua, Nsamba Charles, Bogere Baker, Salongo Sebwatyo, Goloba Edward, Bitamuzi Richard, Mpungu Robert, Kasujja Peter, Sekwa Bernard, Semanda Mark, Nakayenga Joan, Nakiboneka Grace and Nangobi Lydia.
The operation was extended to the villages of Kajumiro, Kabulasoke sub-county, Gomba district, where 3 UMEME workers were intercepted while selling electric poles at around 8pm. In addition, they impounded an UMEME track loaded with an assortment of electric wires. The arrested suspects included; Ndugga John, a 27 year old, UMEME employee attached to Masaka and resident of Kijjabwemi LCI, Kibalizi George, a 37 year old, lines assistant of UMEME Masaka and resident of Nyendo Nakayiba LCI; and Ssendi Charles, a 52 year old, driver attached to UMEME Masaka and resident of Nyendo Nakayiba LCI.
This now brings the total number of cases of vandalism of electricity infrastructure to 44, with 62 suspects. The breakdown of cases is as follows; 18 in KMP, 8 in Savannah, 8 in Katonga, 5 in Wamala, 3 in Greater Masaka, 1 in Busoga North, and 1 in Kiira. The local areas include (In KMP – Nsooba, Mulago, Kawempe, Kisenyi II zone, New taxi part, Old Kampala, Lusanja-Kasangati, Kakajjo zone, Bweyogerere, Najjanankumbi, Kisekka market, Namuwongo, Kabaawo zone, Mutundwe. In Katonga – Kiyunga zone, Lufuka village, Buyaya village, Mpanga Forest Reserve in Mpigi district and Kasiika and Mpunge villages, in Gomba district were affected. In Wamala – Kasana “A” in Mubende district, Busimbi village in Mityana, Ntwetwe Town Council in Kyankwanzi, Kabakanjagala village in Kiboga district, Butiti village, Wamukokome village, Kitale Trading Centre, Bamusunta village, Katugo and Walusi in Nakasongola district were affected.
In Kiira- Buwenge Town Council, and in Greater Masaka- Lubumba village in Kalungu district and Kisolo village in Lwengo district, were affected.
These acts of theft and vandalism of utility infrastructure under scores the need to once again publicly disseminate information, on the importance and benefits of utility infrastructure, under the Energy Sector. And to further 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 our primary concern in preventing theft of utility infrastructure is to maintain the safety of utility infrastructure and pursue all perpetrators causing significant damage to the infrastructure. Its unfortunate that some UMEME staff who are supposed to jealously guard the power infrastructure, are instead perpetrators of the crime.
To help fight the menace of vandalism of utility infrastructure, we are reminding the public, about the reward for information that may lead to the arrest and prosecution of vandals of utility infrastructure. Theft of these items not only increases costs, but disrupts the well-being of domestic users and commercial businesses. Vandalism also puts the lives of the thieves/vandals at serious risk or death, since it carries electricity at high voltage.
The operations are still ongoing.
SCP Enanga Fred
19th September 2022