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Wednesday,September 30,2020 13:18 PM

Suspected cable thief electrocuted

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd January 2007 03:00 AM

A suspected electric cable thief yesterday met his death in a tragic way when his mission in Kololo, a suburb of Kampala, went terribly wrong.

A suspected electric cable thief yesterday met his death in a tragic way when his mission in Kololo, a suburb of Kampala, went terribly wrong.

By Steven Candia

A suspected electric cable thief yesterday met his death in a tragic way when his mission in Kololo, a suburb of Kampala, went terribly wrong.

He was electrocuted and left dangling on a wire in between two poles, about five meters off the ground, when a high voltage electric current surged through him.

The high voltage burned his clothes to ash, save for a piece of his shirt, leaving him almost naked.

Residents said the man could have died at about 2:00am, when the area suddenly plunged into a power blackout.

The incident affected traffic along the road as commuters slowed down to catch a glimpse of the unusual sight.
The Police fire brigade arrived at the scene at about 7:30am, closely followed by a team from Umeme, the sole distributors of electricity in Uganda.

Officials at the scene said the man was most probably stealing copper wires, given that several wires connecting four electric poles had been cut off.
The electrocution drew mixed reactions from the spectators. Some thought it served him right, while others wondered what the young man “was looking for up there.”

It took the team 35 minutes to remove the body, after disconnecting the power and diverting the traffic. The body was brought down with ropes and was taken to the city mortuary in a police patrol truck.

Asked for a reaction, Umeme acknowledged that vandalising power cables is the company’s biggest problem.
“Not only is it our biggest problem, it is also very costly,” the public relations officer, Edward Twine, said. “It affects power distribution and service delivery and impacts negatively on the image of the company.”

At one point last year, the company was forced to run adverts with hefty cash rewards for any one reporting vandals.
Stealing power cables, Twine said, had been rampant in the districts of Bombo, Masaka, Mukono, Iganga, Jinja and Kamuli.

He, however, noted that it was a new phenomenon in Kampala and Entebbe, where thieves have also embarked upon siphoning transformer oil, which is a lubricant, and even stealing the entire transformer.

“We have had several incidents in Nakasero and Kololo where thieves made off with the transformers,” Twine said.

Suspected cable thief electrocuted

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