The Eastern Region Manager at Kenya Power Company, Eng. Mutegi Mbai, has decried an upsurge in vandalism of Kenya Power property in Machakos and its environs for the past two months.
Mutegi, who was speaking to the media after raiding a scrap metal dealer in the Athi River Devki area, said that the dealer has been dealing with vandalized Kenya Power equipment, and they have arrested the manager and taken him to the Athi River Police Station.
Mutegi said vandalism has been a growing challenge in the entire country, and this financial year so far, they have lost over 43 transformers within Machakos and Kajiado Counties alone.
“Vandalized lines cause accidents on the road and unnecessary fatalities, and we need to stop this vice,” said the manager.
He said they have experienced an upsurge of transformer and fiber vandalism within Machakos town, Mwala Sub-county around Makutano, Kithimani, and even Makueni County.
“For the last two months alone within Machakos and Makueni, we have lost a total of 25 kilometers of fiber cable, which we normally use to run our network to keep up the power supply to do remote network operations and operate ICT systems within our offices,” lamented Mutegi.
Mutegi appealed to the public to help in terms of vigilance, reporting any suspicious activity near their infrastructure, and sharing intelligence with the police.
He warned that stealing power equipment is economic sabotage because if the network is off, then schools, hotels, and hospitals lose power, and so the public suffers.
“Please stay away from this vice; we have a number of ongoing cases in court under economic sabotage as provided for in Section 169 of the Energy Act 2019,” added Mutegi.
Mutegi added that they are working closely with the National Government Administration (NGAO) team, police officers, and the courts so that they can curb the spreading menace.
He said they have recovered copper wire, 134 kgs of aluminum conductors from a power line, fuses from transformers, copper earthing materials, and five sacks of other power accessories from the manager dealing with stolen scrap metal in the Devki Athi River.
The operation was jointly done by police officers and Kenya Power Company officials from Machakos and Nairobi headquarters.
By Anne Kangero