Electricity Court Convicts Mbarara Residents of Stealing Electric Cables worth UGX 150,000,000
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The Standards, Utility and Wildlife Court (Electricity Court) convicted and sentenced Opio Innocent and Sudi Hassan to two years imprisonment for stealing electric cables worth Uganda Shillings 150 million.
Opio Innocent, aged 28 and a resident of Kisenyi Cell, Kakoba Division, Mbarara was arrested on 15th April 2018, by a security guard as he stole the cables from the new South Electricity Transmission substation located in Mbarara District.
Sudi Hassan, aged 38 and a resident of Biharwe Nyamityobora Ward, Kakoba Division, Mbarara District was arrested after being found to have been driving the car that was used in the theft of the cables.
The two were taken to Mbarara Central Police as they waited to be produced in the Standards, Utility and Wildlife Court at Buganda Road.
Both Opio and Sudi were produced in Court on 30th July 2018, and were charged of tampering with electrical installations, contrary to s.81 (1) of the Electricity Act; theft, contrary to s.254 (1) and 261 of the Penal Code Act; and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, contrary to s.391 of the Penal Code Act, upon which both the accused pleaded guilty.
Magistrate Marion Mangeni convicted Opio and Sudi on all the three (3) counts on their own plea of guilty, and sentenced them to two (2) years imprisonment on all the three (3) counts running concurrently.
According to the Electricity Regulatory Authority Prosecutor, Ms. Kyohairwe Charlotte, evidence beyond reasonable doubt in respect to the case was presented before court, which enabled court to convict both Opio and Sudi.
Conviction of Opio and Sudi is a landmark success in the fight against vandalism and tempering with electricity installations, which is a big problem affecting Uganda’s Electricity Supply Industry.
On 5th April 2018, the Electricity Court convicted Kimbugwe Yassin for carrying out electrical installations without a valid Permit issued by the Electricity Regulatory Authority, contrary to Section 88 (1) and (2) of the Electricity Act, 1999.