in Kumi Municipality came to a standstill on Wednesday during an operation to
curb illegal power connections.
During the operation, more than 100 business premises were closed as the owners fled
on seeing UMEMEM staff accompanied by the police. At least 80 people who
include tenants and landlords were arrested taken to Mbale.
John Opolot, the chairperson of Kumi main market says that many vendors locked
up their businesses for fear of being arrested. He said that the affected
lockups include saloons, shops, boutiques and produce shops among others.
Gervas Osele, one of the residents in Kumi municipality says that much as the
operation is necessary, most of the people arrested were innocent.
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Ochom, the Mayor of Kumi Municipality blamed Umeme authorities for not
involving the local authorities in the operation. He, however, appealed to residents
to refrain from illegal connections since it leads to the loss of lives and
Umeme to open an office in Kumi to help curb illegal connections.
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Emmanuel Ochen, the metering services engineer for Umeme at Mbale regional
office, says that they have recovered 56 service cables on direct supply. Ochen
says that the operations will continue to ensure that those who are
disconnected don’t reconnect until they seek help from the service provider.
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recently rolled out an operation dubbed Komboa (Swahili word for redeem), to
redeem its network from illegal users and operators. The operation identifies
illegal connections, disconnect them, arrests and investigates suspects and
take them to courts of law.
The power distributor reported about 98 Billion Shillings loss in Eastern
Uganda alone, between January and March this year.