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Security operatives connive with bad elements to vandalize electric power lines, MPs reveals

Some of the vandals who were arrested last year

The Parliamentary Committee on Environmental and Mineral Resources has made a shocking revelation, pinning security personnel’s complicit in destruction of electric power lines.

This came to light after several findings, which were unearthed to parliament on Friday, after inspecting the Karuma Hydro-Electric Power Station by committee members.

The committee revealed that instead of guarding electricity infrastracture and selflessly participating in nabbing the vandals, security personnel have instead aided these culprits in their erroneous activities.

While addressing the press at Golden Tulip Nakasero a few months ago, the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa stressed the involvement of the security architecture in fighting vandalizisation of electric power lines.

“Security forces have to be woken up. Their cardinal mandate, their constitutional mandate is to keep territorial intergrity of the country, and also to keep people and their property safe and I have called up on them, I want to thank UPDF and UPF, who have been attending our preparatory meetings for an attack on the vandals. I will use CID, CMI ISO and ESO,” she said.

Now, it seems the minister’s expectations have been let down. Crime preventers have instead turned out to be crime perpetrators, according to Bukoto East MP Ronald Kanyike.

Cutting and doing away with electric wires, metal cutting, and disruption of other electricity equipment like transformers have been visited against Karuma Hydro-Electric Power station in Jinja, North Eastern Uganda.

Kanyike, who is also a member of this committee said findings and revelations as a result of touring the Karuma station are astonishing.

He noted in their illicit activities, vandals are swiftly aided by some shameless security operatives, to do away with vital electricity equipment and wires.

 According to Kanyike, this has frastrated government efforts to extend electricity to several households at the grass root levels, and undermined the work of the Energy Ministry, while the abbeters of crime continue benefiting unlawfully.

He plainly revealed that in their efforts to inspect Karuma Hydro-Electric Power station, they discovered a lot of vandalisms on the electric towers.

He further stated that the area police chief intimated to him, that the culprits involved in cutting of electric wires, or vandals are from with in security circles, or highly connected to government. 

The legislator questioned the relevance of several security checkpoints and roadblocks situated after every 10 kilometres on Kampala -Jinja highway, and wondered how these notorious vandals bypass these checkpoints to transport their stolen metals to Kampala.

Kanyike said that the problem is among security operatives, who cordinate with criminals to exact this damage on the towers, and that this crisis must be solved immediately. 

This comes against the backdrop of the committee cordination with the Energy Ministry,  to investigate the loopholes in the electricity distribution apparatus, such that appropriate ammendments are made in the Electricity Ammendment Bill, a process slated for next week.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Mnergy, in cordination with the committee is in a higher gear of organising an in-house meeting at one of the hotels in Kampala, to see to it that the bill is revamped. 

The committee is in the process of executing a multi-pronged campaign to improve the quality and quantity of electric supply in the country, by inspecting several electricity projects.

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