In Kenya, the judicial system has sentenced a man to 15 years in jail for transformer vandalism – alternatively he faces a fine of $58,415.

On Monday, Kenya Power reported that a Kibera court sentenced Stanley Kiiru Gitau to 15 years in jail while three other co-suspects were jailed for 10 years or to pay a $48,682 fine.

Transformer vandalism

Kiiru was a repeat offender with a previous conviction, the utility explained.

His co-accused include Stephene Thumbi Kagai, Julius Gichuki Mwangi, and James Mburu Kabi.

The convicts were arrested in Ngong, Kajiado North Sub-County in June 2016 for vandalising a power transformer. Read more…

A fifth suspect, Wilson Ngure, died while in remand, the utility reported.

Increased cases

A continuous challenge for utilities, Kenya Power explained that in Eldoret, Daniel Kemboi pleaded guilty for conning a customer Kshs28,500 ($282) at Karuna farm in Moiben Sub County.

He was fined Kshs50,000 ($487) or three months’ imprisonment.

On September 7, 2017, Samuel Irungu Mucheru and Stephen Mwangi Kinyanjui were arrested at Kiangage village of Muranga County for vandalising an electricity line.

They were both booked at Muranga Police Station and will be charged for the offense.

At the same time, a transformer was vandalised at Matindiri in Nyandarua County.

The incident was reported at Matindiri Police Post. Investigations have been launched to identify and arrest the vandals.

Surveillance continues

In a mid-year statement, Kenya Power emphasised that the utility will continue carrying out close surveillance on the network across the country to curb vandalism and other vices that negatively impact on the power distribution system. Read more…

The utility is working with the police, local administration and locals to carry out this exercise.

The public has been cautioned that anyone found culpable will be arrested and charged in court.

Apart from the immediate loss of supply to customers, vandalism negatively affects the Company’s revenue and leads to an unnecessary capital cost for replacing the destroyed equipment.

 

Featured image: Stock