In Kenya, a Nanyuki court has sentenced a suspect to 10 years in prison or a fine of $48,627 (KShs.5 million) for vandalism.
The suspect was also handed a 6-months jail term or a fine of $486,27 (KShs.50,000) for the second count of unauthorized disconnection of electricity.
Naftaly Kaimenyi Kithinji was arrested last year at Timau area in connection with the crimes and was arraigned before Nanyuki Principal Magistrate Hon. Gichimu.
Kenya Power’s Security Services Manager Maj. Geoffrey Kigen (Rtd) welcomed the ruling saying that it will deter those with intentions to carry out similar crimes. He added that the Company will continue carrying out surveillance of the network to ensure that the quality of power supply to customers is not compromised.
“The sentence should serve as a warning to the public that interfering with the power distribution system is a crime punishable under the law. We will not relent on the fight against vices that compromise our services to customers,” he said.
This sentence comes at a time when Kenya Power has scaled up security operations countrywide with the aim of tracking down vandalism, theft of electricity, illegal connections and other crimes undermining the quality of electricity supply to customers.
This week, one person was arrested at Zimmerman for vandalism while another suspect was nabbed in Uasin Gishu County while unlawfully disconnecting customers at the Elgeyo border.
In addition to posing the danger of electrocution, crimes such as vandalism and illegal connections reduce reliability of power supply and result in damage to equipment, among other losses to customers. Read more: Kenya Power shuts down prepaid system
In October last year, a man was sentenced to death by the Nyeri Principal Magistrate Court for vandalising a transformer and violently robbing customers.