Man slapped with six-year jail term for vandalising ESCOM transformer

THYOLO, 31 OCTOBER 2022

Man slapped with six-year jail term for vandalising ESCOM transformer

By Peter Kanjere

Thyolo Magistrate’s Court sentenced a man to six years imprisonment on Monday 31st October 2022 after finding him guilty of vandalising a transformer for ESCOM in the district.

The court meted out the punishment on Medison Michael after he pleaded guilty to the offence, according to Thyolo Police records.

The 29-year-old, alongside two other suspects who are in custody, vandalised the transformer at Makandi Tea Estate on 20 September 2022.

The convict hails from Chikunkhu Village, Traditional Authority Mphuka in Thyolo.

The vandalism of the transformer, valued at K785, 075, contravenes Section 49 of the Electricity Act.

The remaining two suspects will appear before court on Friday 4 November 2022, when the State will parade witnesses.

Thyolo Police spokesperson Amos Tione earlier said they arrested Michael following a tip-off.

Tione said the two other suspects fled from the scene before they were arrested.

Of late, cases of vandalism have been on the increase with similar incidents reported in Balaka, Blantyre, Mulanje, Nsanje and Lilongwe.

On October 11, police arrested five people, including an ESCOM temporary security guard, for allegedly attempting to steal transformer oil at the corporation’s Chichiri Power Station in Blantyre.

Blantyre Police spokesperson Deputy Public Relations Officer Aubrey Singanyama confirmed the arrest of the 25-year-old temporary watchman Chinsisi Zingwangwa alongside John Phiri, Jackson Harry, Daniel Kumzinda and James Mgeni

On September 27 2022, Bangula Senior Magistrate’s Court convicted and sentenced 40-year-old Cosmas Namalima to three years’ imprisonment with hard labour for vandalising copper wire valued at K1.8 million at M’bwazi Village, T/A Mulolo in the district

On 19 September 2022, an Escom linesman Gift Mlenga rescued a transformer from acts of vandalism at Lobeni Village, T/A Mabuka in Mulanje District.

The previous month on August 29 2022, community policising members of Chiwamba area in Lilongwe arrested Kondwani Chikoma while vandalizing stay-wire along the 11KVA powerline from Kanengo to Chiwamba in T/A Chimutu in the district.

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TARGETED—Transformer