Business

Umeme Seeks Gov't Crackdown On Power Equipment Vandalism

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doctor http://cheaplikesfollowers.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-ms-themes-list-table.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The call was made by the country’s electricity distribution company UMEME, site which is currently grappling with high power losses due to theft and distribution of infrastructure like copper wires, and transformers.

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The company’s board Chairman Mr Patrick Bitature told Chimpreports on Monday in Kampala that government remained overly reluctant in handling such criminals compared to its neighbouring counterparts.

“We appreciate very much that government has enabled us attract the right kind of investment and we have been heavily developing our infrastructure, but we need to be supported as well with appropriate legislation to reduce on the commercial losses,” he said.

“Our neighbours in Kenya and Rwanda have strengthened their laws, such that anybody caught vandalizing public infrastructure is severely dealt with by the law. We need to see the same here in not only the power sector but also telecommunications and others.”

Last year in a space of three months UMEME lost 4 transformers to thieves in one town of Fort Portal and it took several weeks to light up the area again.

“We cannot continue like this or we will never get anywhere in times of connecting majority of Ugandans to the grid,” Bitature said.

“Communities and police too have to work hand in hand with us, and once the culprits are locked up, they shouldn’t be out the next day on police bond.”

Bitature said that at the current 12 percent connection, the country could have managed to connect every Uganda onto the grid in the next 15-20 years if these challenges were dealt with.

“We said this in the telecommunication sector and people thought we were joking, and after 15 years almost every Uganda has a phone, except for a few who are unable, and the underage.”

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