Kenya Power has partnered with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to fight rising cases of vandalism and to protect electricity equipment. TheDCI has attached 42 officers to work with Kenya Power’s security team and other relevant functions to stem vandalism, theft of electricity and fibre, as well as illegal encroachment of wayleaves.
During the last financial year, Kenya Power recorded a 46% growth in cases of transformer vandalism affecting 242 transformers compared to 165 units that were vandalized in the previous year.
“We have witnessed a recent surge in cases of vandalism and illegal connections across the country leading to unplanned power outages that inconvenience our customers,” says Kenya Power’s Managing Director & CEO, Dr. (Eng) Joseph Siror. “The Company is working with various security agencies, including collaboration with the DCI, to tackle these illegal activities.”
Dr Siror said he is confident the partnership with DCI will boost Kenya Power’s capacity to proactively fight vandalism and other crimes through an intelligence-led approach.
Besides the loss of revenue, vandalism and illegal power connections expose the public to the danger of electrocution. Additionally, vandalism compromises the quality of power supply and directly affects the economy as reliable electricity supply is crucial for economic growth. The company is rolling out a public awareness campaign to address these issues.
“The DCI will continue supporting investigations and protecting the energy sector against criminal activities whenever we are called upon,” said Mr Paul Wachira, Deputy Director for Investigations at the DCI.
Through the partnerships with Kenya Power, Mr Wachira said DCI officers will follow the money trail, especially among those handling stolen copper and oil from vandalized transformers, to bring the masterminds of these activities to book.
Since July last year, a total of 1,026 people have been arrested across the country and prosecuted for various illegal activities within the electricity network. Of these, 472 cases relate to vandalism, theft of energy equipment and damage to energy infrastructure. Illegal connections and fraudulent consumption of electricity account for 320 while 33 people were arrested for wayleave encroachment.