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Transformer vandals in Laikipia put on notice

Authorities in Laikipia County have launched an investigation to apprehend criminals involved in transformer vandalism that has left residents in darkness and businesses counting losses due to a lack of electricity.

Laikipia County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, in an interview with the media in Nanyuki, said the county had witnessed an increase in transformer destruction and condemned the incidents, noting it was an economic crime and that whoever caught would be charged according to the law.

“There is transformer vandalism; several incidents have been reported in Laikipia Central, Wiyumiririe, and our neighbouring counties, including Nyandarua. I want to caution residents that this is a criminal offence punishable under the law,” Kanyiri said.

Kanyiri said that the offences were mostly committed at night, adding that the suspects disconnected electricity distribution unnoticed before making away with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company equipment.

The administrator revealed that the suspects who vandalised the transformers stole copper wires and transformer oil, which he said some vendors were suspected to be using to deep fry French fries commonly known as ‘’chips mwitu’’ andchapati, hence putting the health of residents at risk.

“This is an economic crime, and the transformer oil is not meant for cooking purposes; it is industrial oil, and using it is putting people’s lives in danger,” said the county commissioner.

Kanyiri further cautioned authorised scrap metal dealers against getting involved in buying vandalised transformer equipment that has since left schools, businesses, and residents in darkness.

“Investigations are ongoing to establish where this equipment is sold. We warn scrap metal dealers not to get involved in the illegal business. Anyone found will have his or her license revoked,” noted Kanyiri.

The county administrator urged local chiefs to be on the lookout and report any mischievous incidents to prevent such damages that have led to economic sabotage in the region.

By Muturi Mwangi

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