By Peter Kanjere, ESCOM PRO
Police have arrested two people on suspicion that they vandalized and stole Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) cables in Lilongwe on Sunday 22 May 2022.
Lilongwe Police spokesperson Hastings Chigalu said they arrested Elias Mwale, aged 46, and Geoffrey Lefani, 37, at Kaweche Primary School in Traditional Authority (T/A) Masumbankhunda in Lilongwe at 9:00pm.
Mwale hails originally from Nkhodzalendo Village, T/A Nsabwe in Thyolo District whereas Lefani is from Kumwembe Village, T/A Chiwere in Dowa District.
“On the said night, a Criminal Investigation Department officer based at Sinyala Police Unit received a tip-off that three people were suspiciously loading cables into a Probox vehicle at the said primary school,” Chigalu said.
“Then the said officer mobilised members of the community, and together arrested the suspects. However, one suspect, only identified as Charles Nyirenda, escaped.”
He said the police recovered the stolen cables and seized a motor vehicle which the suspects used when committing the crime.
The suspects will be taken to court soon to answer vandalism and theft charges which carry custodial sentences, according to sections 45 of Electricity Act and 278 of the Penal Code.
ESCOM Director of Distribution and Customer Services Youngie Chewele has since commended members of the community for working hand-in-hand with Sinyala Police Unit to rescue the Corporation’s property.
Vandalism has proved costly to ESCOM and its customers, as it results in lengthy power outages which affect socioeconomic well-being of members of the communities.
It is estimated that ESCOM lost over K1 billion due to vandalism in the 2019-20 financial year alone.
ESCOM runs anti-vandalism campaigns using various avenues to sensitive the members of the communities to the dangers of the vice.
CAUGHT RED-HANDED— The Suspects