HomeRegional NewsEast AfricaUganda opens specialised court for electricity-related crimes

Uganda opens specialised court for electricity-related crimes

Launched last week, the court dubbed Standards, Wildlife and Utilities Court, will be operating from Buganda Road Court in Kampala, to tackle the country’s rise in illegal power connections, the Monitor reported.

Speaking at the court inauguration, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, said: “Cases accruing from this area of the law have previously been handled by the courts generally across the country.

“There has been no fast-tracking, no uniform sentencing, no monitoring and evaluation mechanism in the handling of these cases.”

He added: “It has, therefore, been difficult for us to assess how effectively or efficiently we have been performing in that regard. It is, however, easy to conclude that we have been performing miserably. By invoking the intrinsic benefits of specialisation, we want to realise a turn-around in this area of access to justice.”

The Chief Justice encouraged the designated magistrates to always benchmark and do research ensuring they stay abreast with the law, media reported.

Illegal power connections

In 2016, the Ugandan electricity distributor, Umeme embarked on a nationwide campaign, which was set to address issues relating to illegal power connections and vandalism.

Launching the drive, the utility’s managing director, Celestino Babungi, stated that these crimes result in unbilled electricity, which in turn lead to revenue loss for the company.

Babungi said: “Power theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure are fundamental and a key problem.” Read more…

“Power theft is a criminal offence, which is costing the country close to Shs100 billion ($296 million) annually, which would have been used to build new networks, minimise power tariffs and some innocent people are losing lives because of power theft,” Babungi added.

 

Featured image: 123rf

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.

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