Police in Iganga district have arrested 20 people in connection with stealing electric wires, poles and transformer parts. Among the suspects are four UMEME field officers, one UMEME driver and 15 dealers in making aluminum saucepans.
Police in Iganga district have arrested 20 people in connection with stealing electric wires, poles and transformer parts.
Herbert Nuwagaba, Iganga District Police commander, says the suspects were arrested in Namunyumya, Nawangisa and Namalemba parishes and Iganga municipal council after an operation carried out by Iganga Police on Thursday morning to curb vandals of electric gadgets.
He says the suspects who include four UMEME field officers, one UMEME driver and 15 dealers in making aluminium saucepans.
Among the suspects arrested are Mawazzi Nazige, Juma Semu, Joel Bamwise, and Godfrey Wanume, all residents of Buyigo village.
Police says the operation is still going on and the names of UMEME officials cannot be revealed before they give Police information about other accomplices.
The suspects will be charged with theft and economic sabotage after Police investigations.
Shaban Nkuutu, Iganga district chairman, says theft of electric gadgets has caused many parts of Iganga to suffer power outages.
This has constantly affected business in Iganga town, including Iganga hospital.
He says some areas in Iganga take up to one month without electricity as UMEME replaces vandalized electric gadgets.
Rose Oyela, UMEME regional manager, says since the year began the electricity distribution company has so far lost more than 500 million shillings as a result of vandalism of electricity gadgets and power thefts due to illegal connections in south-eastern region of Uganda.
Oyela, says the copper wires, transformers, transformer oil and meter boxes are the most stolen items in the region, with Kamuli, Iganga, Namayingo and Bugiri the most affected districts in south-eastern region.
She says the problem is not only in her region but also districts like Masaka and Rakai among the most affected in Uganda and this has hampered progress.
electric gadgets vandalism
iganga power black outs