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Village Leaders Tasked as Vandals Target Street lights in Masaka City :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Village Leaders Tasked as Vandals Target Street lights in Masaka City

According to Mulindwa, at least five solar streetlights have been vandalized within one month, and efforts to arrest the culprits have not yielded positive results. The vandalized lights are in Bulayi and Kitenga cells in the Nyendo-Mukungwe division and Kitanga cell in the Kimanya-Kabonera division.
One of the abandoned Metalic Pole Stand which was cut by vandals in Masaka City, at least Five Street lights have been vandalized
Lower local council leaders in Masaka city have been tasked to curtail the mushrooming vandalism targeting the newly installed streetlights. Masaka city council through the various infrastructural development program funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank-ADB secured solar street lights that were installed on roads in the various satellite towns of the city.

However, the lights have been vandalized by thugs in some areas that are targeting them for fluorescent bulbs, solar panels, and batteries. Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Mayor Nyendo-Mukungwe Division, says that they have now made it mandatory for lower local council leaders to secure the lights in their respective areas of jurisdiction are safe.

According to Mulindwa, at least five solar streetlights have been vandalized within one month, and efforts to arrest the culprits have not yielded positive results. The vandalized lights are in Bulayi and Kitenga cells in the Nyendo-Mukungwe division and Kitanga cell in the Kimanya-Kabonera division. 

“Before we undertake the other technical approaches of applying metallic fabrication on the poles, we are putting the village council leadership on task to ensure the lights are not stolen,” he noted. Apparently, records at the Masaka City Engineering department indicate that 120 streetlights, each valued at Shillings 12.34 million have been installed in the area in the last one and a half years. 

Mulindwa threatens that the division may consider suspending delivery of services to areas that fail to secure their street lights. “It’s high time all the lower local councils leaders increase that vigilance and reawakened their security committees to ensure the safety of these lights,” he added.   

Vincent Kasumba, the Chairperson of the Masaka City Development Forum, says that they have started engaging the communities through village meetings, asking them to take charge of all the public facilities put in their areas of jurisdiction. 

He suspects that the lights are being vandalized by thugs that are targeting them largely for spare parts. He explains that in all cases, the thieves have not taken the steel and copper metallic stand poles that are usually targeted by scrap dealers. 

Besides the lower local leaders, Kasumba has also challenged police to use the footage from the installed public security cameras in the area to trace the vandals. But Vincent Ssegujja, the Vice Chairperson of Bulayi Cell where the lights were vandalized has asked the city authorities to investigate the staff of the contractor that was hired to install the lights, arguing that they could be the culprits. 

“This kind of theft can hardly be committed by ordinary persons because it requires specialized tools to that unfasten these panels and bulbs from the stand poles,” he argued.            

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