UMEME and Police launch a massive crackdown which was termed as “komboa” on illegal electricity connection in Masaka city this week. A massive crackdown that ran from Nyendo, a suburb in the newly established city was filled with a lot of resistance both physically and verbally between the official and residents.
According to the residents, UMEME was being hypocritic since some of it’s official were actively
involved in setting up the illegal power connections in many of the city suburbs. Other residents like Paul Mugerwa argue that the costs of power are too high for the residents to afford and due to this, they opt to access the much needed electricity through illegal channels.
In UMEME’s perspective, their aim was to redeem the people of Masaka and that’s why they choose to name the operation “Komboa” which is a swahili word that can loosely be translated into English as “Redeem.”
Even when residents went into refuge for fear of being arrested, the UMEME officials still went ahead to uninstall the illegal power connections so as to ensure that the vice is completely eradicated. Despite this, residents still insist that these measures shall do close to nothing in ensuring that the power theft rates drop down since people shall always go back to their old ways that they can afford.
The UMEME Meeting Services Manager Christine Namutebi warns that this is only the beginning of their operation as they plan on launching a countrywide search for whoever is in the wrong.
According to the current Electricity Act, whoever is found guilty of power theft is to pay a sum of two million shillings as fine. Or else, the accused is meant to serve a three-year jail sentence. There’s also a suggestion that the law should be tightened to punish power thieves and stop it.