Agnes Maturu Mabel, an Environmental officer at Ceylex Engineering [Pvt] Ltd told Uganda Radio Network that 90 turnbuckles each costing Shillings 200,000 have been stolen from concrete electricity poles recently in the sub counties of Labongo Amida and Kitgum Matidi by goons disguising as their engineers.
Vandalism of electrical installations by unknown people is
frustrating government’s efforts to extend electricity to rural communities in
This follows reports from Ceylex Engineering [Pvt] Ltd, a firm subcontracted by
Rural Electrification Agency [REA] to install power lines in Kitgum District
that several turnbuckles had been stolen from their power lines. Turnbuckles
are used for adjusting the tension of cables and providing stability for
The electricity firm began erecting concrete electricity poles in the district
under the Islamic Development Bank [IDB] funded project last year.
Agnes Maturu Mabel, an Environmental officer at Ceylex Engineering [Pvt] Ltd
told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that their work has been frustrated
by constant theft of electrical materials.
She says 90 turnbuckles each costing Shillings 200,000 have been stolen from
concrete electricity poles recently in the sub-counties of Labongo Amida and
Kitgum Matidi by goons disguising as their engineers.
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She says this has affected their progress to install transformers
on the electricity poles adding that it will drag the project period behind yet
locals should have started utilizing electricity.
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The electricity firm now says theft of the electrical materials which each cost
them a loss of approximately 18 million shillings is inevitably going to delay the
installation of transformers since new orders for the materials shipped from
India and Sri Lanka.
Wilfred Nyeko, Labongo Amida Sub-county LCIII Chairperson says theft of the
electrical materials has greatly affected chances of the locals from consuming
He says two transformers delivered by Ceylex Engineering [Pvt] Ltd meant to be
installed in Tangi Agoro village and Opete trading centre have been taken back
because turnbuckles meant to support electricity poles have been stolen.
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Security officials in the sub-county suspect the electrical materials could
have been vandalized by former employees of Power Planet Engineer Services Ltd,
one of the firms subcontracted by Ceylex Engineering Ltd over unpaid arrears.
Information Uganda Radio Network obtained indicates that Power Planet Engineer
Services Ltd was subcontracted to install power lines in Lagoro Sub County and
Labongo Amida Sub County but didn’t pay some of its workers.
Maturu confirmed receiving reports that the firm had not paid some of its
employees’ salaries, food allowances and rent in the past months in areas where
they had been working causing disgruntlement. She says the matter was under
Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says an investigation
into the theft has commenced. He, however, warned the village local council
chairpersons to be vigilant and report or arrest suspicious individuals found
to be tampering with the electrical installations in their areas.
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Vandalism of electrical materials has been the major concerns for power
distributor UMEME over persistent power blackout in Northern Uganda. The Power
distributor has continued to lose several major electricity materials over the
years due to vandalism fueled by weak legislation, costing it millions of
shillings in losses annually.