By Immaculate Amony
Police at Lira Central Police Station is holding a 30-year-old man for vandalizing electricity wires belonging to Umeme.
Okello Calvin a resident of Adok parish, Agwata Sub County in Dokolo District was netted during a joint operation by security team led by the District Internal Security Officer and officials from Umeme offices in Lira and he was later handed over to the police at Lira Central Police Station.
While addressing the press after the operation, the Lira Resident District Commissioner Milton Odongo confirmed the arrest saying it followed a directive from above.
“The security operatives carried out operation following a directive from the Director General Of ISO to ensure that properties of both Government and private sector are protected and we managed to arrest one called Okello Calvin and we have today brought him here to formally hand over to the police CID to take up the mater of investigation and prosecution.”
He warned the locals against vandalizing government properties. Adding that such cases should be reported to the authorities. “This is intended to send a very strong message to other intending offenders who are still outside there bent on stealing, dismantling and vandalizing government properties not only Umeme wires but even National Water and Sewerage Cooperation meters, dismantling signposts for government. The youth outside there who are still doing these should stop immediately.”
The RDC also ordered for an investigation of all Green Houses in Lira saying there is a connection between the theft of wires and houses. “This operation is here to clean Lira from all criminal roughs. We are even now directing the army to investigate these green houses being built because I have been made to understand that these wires being stolen here is being used to build those green houses for agriculture.”
Meanwhile Ssemugenze Denis, the acting manager UMEME in Lira said the vandalism on their wires affects the general public.
“As Umeme, this act affects us in many ways. Where wires are vandalized, it’s a risk and hazards and safety hazard to people using power, many people have been electrocuted because of the bare wires and when power goes off, people in hospitals and those doing business are affected.” He said.
“This does not only affect us in lives but also, we lose in terms of money. You have had engagements and some of you have shared with us the level of losses incurred.”
Ssemugenze attributed the many power outages to this act which he said is very common.
“As of last year, we had over 500- 600 steel wires which were removed and that alone caused us the many hours which we were off, where customers were out of supply.”