Kenya Power partners with DCI to crackdown on vandalism
Thursday, November 16, 2023
KNA by Wangari Ndirangu
Kenya Power Company is in partnership with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to fight rising cases of vandalism and to protect electricity equipment.
Towards this end, DCI has attached 42 officers to work collaboratively with Kenya Power’s security team and other relevant functions to stem vandalism, theft of electricity and fiber, as well as illegal encroachment of wayleaves.
In a press statement, Kenya Power Managing Director & CEO Dr. (Eng) Joseph Siror said that they have witnessed a recent surge in cases of vandalism and illegal connections across the country leading to unplanned power outages that inconvenience our customers.
He added that the Company is working with various security agencies, including collaboration with the DCI, to tackle these illegal activities.
“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,” Eng. Siror said.
During the last financial year, the Company recorded a 46 percent growth in cases of transformer vandalism affecting 242 transformers compared to 165 units that were vandalized during the previous year.
Beyond the loss of revenue for the Company, vandalism and illegal power connections expose the public to the danger of electrocution, compromises the quality of power supply and directly affects the economy as reliable electricity supply is crucial for economic growth.
The Company is also rolling out a public awareness campaign to address these issues.
Deputy Director for Investigations at the DCI Paul Wachira said through partnerships such as the one with the Kenya Power, they 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.
“The DCI will continue supporting investigations and protecting the energy sector against criminal activities whenever we are called upon,” added Wachira.
Since July last year, a total of 1,026 people have been arrested across the country and prosecuted for various illegal activities within the electricity network.
Of these, 472 cases relate to vandalism, theft of energy equipment and damage to energy infrastructure. Illegal connections and fraudulent consumption of electricity account for 320 while 33 people were arrested for wayleave encroachment.
In Kiambu, the County Police Commander Perminus Kioi a while back said that vandalism menace has been going on for some time and has been rampant especially in areas of Ndeiya, which has so far lost 14 transformers, Limuru 3, Juja, Thika East and Munyu area and also other areas like Gatundu North.
Kiambu County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha urged the public not to handle any items or equipment from government institutions without permits or permissions saying whether one is a worker in the business premises, if found with such government property, they would face the law.
Kenya Power has recently decried the rampant vandalism on their intrastate across the country, warning that stealing power equipment is an economic sabotage and applicable to court hearing as provided for in section 169 of the Energy Act 2019.