Three men; Johana Thuku, Patrick King’ori and Stephen Githitu will be spending the weekend behind bars after they were arrested in possession of vandalised Kenya Power & Lighting Company equipment (KPLC).
Kenya Power equipment worth millions found in Juja
Three men were arrested in possession of the equipment
According to the Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the equipment estimated to be worth millions of shillings was found in a scrap metal yard in Matangi, Juja.
"DCI sleuths from Headquarters Operations Branch, raided a scrap metal yard where Several vandalized KPLC transformers, rolls of aluminium conductors and assorted materials were recovered," read a tweet from the Directorate.
Thuku and Githitu were found at the scene of the crime where a container full of steel bracings obtained from critical electricity transmission towers was also recovered. The third suspect, King'ori was arrested later on.
"Following the raid, Johana Thuku and Stephen Githitu, were arrested and arraigned at a Thika court for the offence of vandalism. Additional counts of handling stolen energy equipment were also slapped on the thugs," revealed DCI.
Scrap metal dealers reject licencing
The arrest comes two months after President Uhuru Kenyatta banned trade in scrap metal due to increased cases of vandalism targeting critical national infrastructure.
The order stopped the scrap metal trade until proper guidelines were put in place to regulate the sector.
This was in a bid to tame vandalism of critical infrastructure and followed the collapse of electricity transmission towers in Nairobi’s Embakasi Area that plunged the city into a day-long power outage.
Industrialisation and Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina on Thursday, March 10 told Parliament that while the ministry had mapped out more than 700 firms in the trade, only 91 had applied for licensing since the President announced the ban.
The Scrap Metal Council, established by the Scrap Metal Act, 2015, regulates the sector including the issuance of licences. Maina said the number of firms expressing interest in being licensed had increased from about 20 that were registered before January.
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