More than 1,000 people arrested over vandalism, theft since July last year- Kenya Power

High voltage transmission powerline near Imara Daima Railway Station that fell causing a power outage on January 11, 2022 [File, Standard]

The Kenya Power says more than 1,000 people have been arrested and prosecuted since July last year over illegal activities linked to electricity connections across the country. 

In a statement on Thursday, November 16, the company's Managing Director Joseph Siror said out of those arrested, 472 cases are related to vandalism, theft of electricity equipment, and damage to energy infrastructure. 

Additionally, 320 people have been arrested for illegal connections and fraudulent consumption of electricity while thirty-three (33) were arrested for wayleave encroachment. 

Kenya Power has now partnered with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in a bid to fight the upsurge of transformer vandalism and theft of electric equipment.

“We have witnessed a recent surge in cases of vandalism and illegal connections across the country leading to unplanned power outages that inconvenience our customers. The company is working with various security agencies to tackle these illegal activities,” Siror said.

“We are confident that the partnership with the DCI will boost our capacity to proactively fight vandalism and other crimes through an intelligence-led approach,” he added. 

Siror noted that the company has reported a 46 per cent growth in cases of transformer vandalism affecting more power transformers compared to the previous financial year.

As a result, the DCI has deployed forty-two (42) officers to work in collaboration with the power company to curb vandalism, and theft of electricity and fiber, and put an end to illegal encroachment of wayleaves. 

the Kenya Power boss noted that vandalism not only leads to the company incurring losses but also poses a great danger of electrocution to the public.

 “The DCI will continue supporting investigations and protecting the energy sector against criminal activities whenever we are called upon. We will work collaboratively for purposes of following the money trail, especially among those handling stolen copper and oil from vandalized transformers, so that the masterminds of these activities are arrested and prosecuted,” said Paul Wachira, Deputy Director for Investigations at the DCI. 

The company now plans to roll out a public awareness campaign to address vandalism that lowers the quality of power supply and directly affects the economy.

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