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Teenager arrested for stealing 20 NWSC water meters in Luwero

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police in Luwero district have arrested a 17-year-old boy and a man for allegedly vandalizing residents’ water meters, thus hampering water supply from the National Water and Sewerage Corporation-NWSC to their taps.

The teenager whose name is with-held because he’s a minor, is a resident of Kasoma zone in Luwero town council. His accomplice identified as James Lubwama is a resident of Lumu zone, in the same town council.

Police effected the teenager’s arrest on Wednesday night, after he was found walking in Binyonyi zone, Luwero town council by night patrol officers.

His movement during the night time curfew, in addition to the bag he was carrying triggered suspicion by officers on duty after they stopped and interrogated him.

The teenager who at the time had just stolen three meters which were packed in the bag he ferried, confessed to stealing the meters. He told police that after stealing the meters from whichever home he invades, he takes them to James Lubwama.

The young vandal told police that Lubwama, his accomplice, is a scrap dealer who always sends him to steal more and he gets paid. On Thursday, police led by the teenager raided Lubwama’s home in Lumu zone and discovered meters among other spare parts such as socket joints, an indication that the vandalism perpetrated by the duo, had lasted for some time.

At the time of the duo’s arrest, they are reported to have stolen 20 meters. Ronald Kisaakye, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation-NWSC Luwero branch manager says the vandalism of these meters is rampant in the area.

According to Kisaakye, each meter is valued at 105,000 shillings. He now says each affected customer has to pay that amount to have his/her meter replaced. Kisaakye asks locals to heighten security at their homes to protect the meters.

Luwero District Police Commander-DPC SP Felix Mugizi told Uganda Radio Network-URN that the force has since intensified investigations to break up this chain of water meter vandals.

Water meter theft has remained rampant in Luwero. In 2019, NWSC released a report indicating that at least 250 water meters had been vandalized in Bombo and Luwero town councils in a space of three months.

At the release of the report, NWSC’s Kisaakye explained that findings showed that the vandals could strike in the night and steal the meters which they later sold to dealers who extract copper material and melt them into coins, door knobs, handrails and plumbing fittings among others.



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