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Energy minister wants specialized security unit to fight power theft, vandalism

Minister Ruth Nankabirwa is on a tour to different key power points across the country.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa wants the National Security Council to establish a fully-fledged security unit to curb the increased levels of vandalism of electric wires.

According to Nankabirwa, police officers manning police stations cannot manage to fight such organized crime of people who vandalize electric wires especially on national grid.

She cited areas like Kakira where thugs cut down electric pylons and vandalize electric cables which are supposed to transmit electricity to various parts of the country.

Nankabirwa who was in Tororo town on Thursday meeting the district officials as part of her tour to different key power points in the country said the National Security Council will have to provide the Ministry of Energy a fully-fledged unit with installation of cameras along the transmission lines and police manned vehicles that will patrol such areas where vandalism is common.

The minster noted that despite the government’s willingness to distribute power to various parts of the country to trigger economic development, their efforts have been frustrated by saboteurs who vandalize the transmission lines.

The Tororo district chairperson John Okea told the minister that the demand for electricity is high in the district yet most parts are being left out in the rural electrification program.

The Tororo Municipality MP Apollo Yeri Ofwono asked the minster to redesign the rural electrification program to capture some of the disadvantaged urban dwellers who can’t afford normal connections.

The Tororo County North MP Geofery Ekanya asked government to lower electricity prices to benefit the poor people instead of giving incentives to investors.

Minster Nakabwirwa said her ministry is set to connect power to over 1,000 homesteads in Tororo district as part of her commitment for the next five years to ensure that power distribution goes to over 60%, more at the time when parish development model will require electricity for projects run in different enterprises.

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