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Electricity Cooperative Society Suspends Engineer, Investigates Manager for Alleged Extortion

Engineer Barnabas Okeny, the Pader – Abim Community Multipurpose Electricity Cooperatives Society Board Chairperson, says they received complaints of extortion from some of the people earmarked to benefit from the free Electricity Connection Policy (ECP).
06 Aug 2019 07:59
Falling electricity poles on the power grid between Kitgum and Lamwo district being managed by PACMECS. Photo By Dan M. Komakech (3)

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 Cosmas Ojok Otukene, the engineer of Pader – Abim Community Multipurpose Electricity Cooperatives Society (PACMECS) Limited has been interdicted for alleged extortion.

Engineer Barnabas Okeny, the Pader – Abim Community Multipurpose Electricity Cooperatives Society Board Chairperson, says they received complaints of extortion from some of the people earmarked to benefit from the free Electricity Connection Policy (ECP).

He says the Board instituted an audit in the project scope areas including Lamwo, Abim, Pader, Agago and parts of Omoro, Gulu and Kitgum districts where the policy is being implemented.

According to Eng. Okeny, the forensic audit report discovered that over 93 million Shillings had been extorted from their clients.   

“As members of the BoD we condemned the act of extorting money from unsuspecting clients because it is prejudicial and contravenes the Electricity Connection Policy (ECP) for extending electricity to locals at zero cost,” he said.  

Okeny says the Board of Directors resolved to suspend the PACMECS Eng. Cosmas Ojok Otukene who is presumed to be the prime suspect in the scam while the General Manager, Lillian Atek is under investigation.   

Speaking during a recent community consultative meeting to popularize the project in

Labongo Layamo Sub County in Kitgum district, residents accused the project staff of charging them between 500,000 to 800,000 Shillings for each electric pole installed.

The Labongo Layamo Sub County Councilor, Emmanuel Oryema decried the corruption tendencies among the project staff and called for thorough investigations.   

//Cue in; “Pwoc na  

ceto……Cue out: …….pe twere,”   

According to the Electricity Connections Policy (ECP); households within 800 meters proximity to transformers are entitled to free electricity connection, free electric pole, a prepaid meter and 10 units of electricity. The beneficiaries are only required to wire their house using certified electricians.  

Government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) launched the free Electricity

Connections Policy (ECP) with funding from the African Development Bank, the

European Union and German State development bank; KfW to address the challenge

of low electricity connection rates as part of the efforts to increase electricity access across the country to act as an engine for economic growth and development.