KENYA, FEB 9 — An Eldoret court has sentenced two suspects to 10 years imprisonment each after they were found guilty of stealing and vandalising transformers.
Wesley Rotich was apprehended at Ngeria area of Uasin Gishu county on June 7, 2016 while vandalising a 200KVA( kilovolt-ampere) transformer worth KSh2.5 million while James Ngondoli was arrested on October 11, 2017 at Jua Kali area in Eldoret for stealing a transformer worth KSh2 million, being in possession of copper windings and 400 litres of transformer oil.
Kenya Power’s Security Services Manager Maj. Geoffer Kigen (Rtd) welcomed the sentence saying it will serve to deter criminals who vandalise electricity distribution equipment and undermine the quality of power supply to customers.
“We will not relent on the war against vandalism, illegal power connections and other crimes that undermine the quality of power supply to our customers and pose danger to electricity consumers. The court ruling is a boost to our operations to stamp out these vices. We urge the public to report any suspicious activities to our offices or nearest police stations,” he said.
In addition to inconveniencing customers, theft of transformers negatively impacts on the Company’s revenues as it reduces electricity sales and increases the cost of replacing the assets.
Kenya Power has sustained surveillance on the network through countrywide operations to crackdown vandalism and illegal connections.
As a result, the number of transformers vandalized reduced from 222 in the year to June 30, 2017 to 133 in the last financial year.
Yesterday, seven suspects were arraigned in Milimani courts after they were arrested in Pipeline Estate (Nairobi) in a crackdown on illegal power connections. Three service cables, five poles and 1,000 meters of conductor wire were recovered.
The sentence comes less than two weeks after a Marimanti court granted a Kenya Power employee and one other suspect KSh2 million bond each with no option of cash bail for vandalism of conductors at Tunyai area, Tharaka Nithi county.