News of Rwanda (Kigali)

Rwanda: EWSA Explains Power Outages As Two Are Arrested for Electric Cable Theft

Police in Nyamirambo are holding two men suspected to be part of a gang that has been involved in stealing of cables causing disturbances in electricity supply.

The suspects are Jean de Dieu Hakizimana, 32 and Jean Baptiste Habimana, 30 who were caught with stolen electric cables [30-metre] in Kimisagara sector, Nyarugenge district.

The recent spate of power shortages has been attributed to theft of electric cables along the power stations in the country.

The police say that the apprehension was made possible with the help of community night patrols.

The Police Spokesperson Supt. Theos Badege condemned the criminal act saying that the duo will be charged accordingly. He said that theft of cable wires has affected the power supply in the country with household enduring power blackouts.

This was echoed by Prosper Mubera Birori, Public Relations and Community officer at Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) who said that unrelenting theft of electric cables has caused a lot of inconveniences disrupting economic activities as some of the places and homes remain without power.

The recent power outages in Kigali have sparked rage, frustration and much debate as to their nature.

EWSA has come under much condemnation over its inability to deliver constant and reliable electricity supply.

Birori said that the theft of cables has been experienced in 23 power stations country wide and further added that Jabana power station is causing electric shortages in some parts of Kigali City because unknown people stole supporters of the electric pylon hence causing its destruction.

He added that EWSA is working hard and that by April 14, they will have addressed the power disruptions.

Jabana power station has been supplying 30 megawatts per hour and they have so far suffered a loss of 20 million francs to rehabilitate the station.

EWSA reports that theft of electric wires is rampant in Nyagatare, Ngororero and Huye power stations but due to partnership with the Police, many suspects have been apprehended.

If convicted, the two suspects will be punished under article 300 of the penal code which states that any person who commits theft without violence or threat shall be reliable to a term of imprisonment of 6 to 2 years and a fine of two to 5 times the value of the stolen property or one of these penalties.

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