The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa has decried the continuous vice of vandalizing electric lines in the country saying the acts sabotage the government electricity agenda of ensuring power for all in 2030.

The government has in the past three years intensified investments in the electricity sector including its generation, transmission and distribution operations. Despite these investments, Uganda continues to grapple with rampant cases of vandalism of power transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The country has since transformed from generating 183 megawatts to 1266.7 megawatts. With the completion of Karuma Hydro power station, Uganda will be generating 2000 megawatts.

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The Minister said that every year, the government loses Shs 26 billion through vandalism as Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) spends Shs 600 million to repair vandalised lines in the country.

“The vandals are deliberately sabotaging the electricity access agenda that the Government embarked on to ensure electricity for all by 2030. These vandals compromise the reliability, continuity and stability of power supply that sometimes compromises National Security,” she said.

Interference with the electricity supply network causes power blackouts, threatens the security of our homes, increases the cost of doing business and electricity tariffs, and disrupts vital health and education services as well as our lifestyles.

The Minister said Mukono, Kayunga, Kamuli, Iganga, Busia, Tororo, Nakasongola, Maska, Kyotera, Kazo, Isingiro, Kasese, Buliisa are the key districts where vandalism takes place.

Kampala and Wakiso districts being the market places where vandalised electric materials are sold, the minister urged Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) to point out individuals buying vandalised electric materials noting that this will help the government to get to the bottom line and apprehend all the perpetrators.

“We are going to hunt down all these vandals as we did on illegal fishing materials. The moment we deployed the army on the lakes, a case of illegal fishing came down. I call upon Ugandans to cooperate with government agencies to fight the vice. We must come up with a solution and that must have been yesterday,” she said.

She urged Security forces of Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) counter intelligence services like Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Internal Security Organisation (ISO), and External Security Organisation (ESO) to join them in the fight against vandalism of electric Lines. The public is called upon to be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior on a power network near them to the nearest police station or the electricity utility company serving you.