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Umeme meets Masaka security over vandals

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th January 2010 03:00 AM

THE Umeme managing director, Charles Chapman, has held a meeting with Masaka security chiefs over the rampant destruction of electricity transformers in the district.

By Dismus Buregyeya

THE Umeme managing director, Charles Chapman, has held a meeting with Masaka security chiefs over the rampant destruction of electricity transformers in the district.

Residents are said to have vandalised 45 transformers between December last year and January this year, according to Umeme.

Chapman and his team last Wednesday met the residents and the security committee at Golf Lane Hotel in Masaka.
Residents climb the power polls at night and siphon oil out of the transformers, according to the Umeme corporate and regulatory affairs general manager, Sam Zimbe.

“We have heard that the oil is used for cosmetics and as a lubricant for motorcycles,” Zimbe said.
The former employees of the defunct Uganda Electricity Board are suspected to be behind the vice.

Chapman said Umeme would soon introduce a reward scheme for those who report illegal power connections and other malpractise.

Chapman, the resident district commissioner, Bwambale Bamusede and the CID officer, Willy Panuha, inspected the Masaka upper ring feeder line where transformers were recently vandalised.

Chapman expressed concern for businesses, which he said are suffering interruptions in power supply because of vandalism.

The companies pledged to work with the Police in the hunt for criminals, who were then suspected to be exporting the materials outside the region. Among other materials said to have been stolen or vandalized in the past are copper conductors, transformer windings and copper cables.

The Kenya Lighting and Power Company recorded losses of ksh1.6b (about $21m) in five years to replacement costs and lost sales due to vandalism of transformers.

Chapman expressed concern for businesses and homes, which he said are suffering interruptions in their power supply because of vandalism.
He said initially, the company experienced rampant theft of the copper electricity wires but the problem had been controlled.

Umeme meets Masaka security over vandals

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