Martin Okuyo, the UEDCL territory manager for North-East says the area covered during the operation is less than a quarter of the expected illegal connections in Moroto town. He notes that the power theft is aided by electricians now spread in town.Okuyo says over 75 percent customers steal power from UEDCL in Moroto.
The 72 meters alone amount to over 50 million Shillings a year to power theft. In an operation to crack down Illegal power connections using meter bypass this week, several businesses and individual houses have been disconnected especially in South Division in Moroto Municipality.
Martin Okuyo, the UEDCL territory manager for North-East says the area covered during the operation is less than a quarter of the expected illegal connections in Moroto town.
Okuyo says over 75 percent customers steal power from UEDCL in Moroto.
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Okuyo adds that some of the institutions especially police and prisons in Nakapiripirit, Bulambuli and Kween districts are involved in the power theft. He notes that whereas in Moroto and Matany in Napak, power thefts are carried out through meter bypass; Nakapiripirit, Kween and Bulambuli power- power theft is carried out by hooking power from the low voltage line.
He cited Namalu Prisons, Kween Police station among others as institutions where power thefts have been recorded.
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One of the businessmen affected by the crackdown, Andrew Wosukira says following procedures for connections with UEDCL are not only hectic but also costly for small businesses. He says they resort to using electricians who help them steal power. Wosukira claims that power theft is a normal practice especially within the business community.
Abraham Edatu, one of the officials of Karamoja business forum blames UEDCL for employing dishonest staff. He says the power theft is done by the same officials from the company.
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John Nkundizana, the DPC Kween when contacted over illegal connections denied the allegations.
Karamoja is connected to the national grid with over 2963 meters by February this year. Moroto district alone contains 1569 meters