Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Six held over theft of EWSA hardware


The suspects paraded at Remera Police Station with the recovered items.
Six people suspected of stealing power equipment belonging to Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) are being held at Remera Police Station, Police have said.

The suspects were found with 198 of the hardware used as pillars, each valued at Rwf15,000. 

According to Theos Badege, the spokesperson of the Rwanda National Police, three of the accused are the prime suspects who were found with the stolen items, while  the others are accomplices whose role was to either look for the market or hide the stolen material.

One of the suspects, a former EWSA part-time agent, was caught with 22 items and is accused of destroying the infrastructure.

The other two of the suspects found in possession of the stolen items, had 97 and 42 items, respectively.

Badege said others found with 37 fled before being arrested.

These materials in white and red bare EWSA identification marks.

One of the suspects reported to be a scrap dealer said he did not know it was illegal to buy such products as the person he bought them from had receipt showing he had bought them from EWSA during exhibition.

Another who also does the same business said he had not realised two of the materials he bought bore EWSA marks until he was arrested.

“I did not realise it was illegal to buy these products as the one who sold them to me gave me a receipt,” one suspect said.

Facing court

Another suspect admitted he has been the go-between the suspected thieves and metal dealers. 

The suspects face various charges, ranging from theft to damaging infrastructure, which attracts between two to five years imprisonment on conviction or fine determined by court.

Badege said investigation goes on to identify the other suspects.

Prosper Mubera Birori, Head of Public Relations and Communication Unit at EWSA, said theft of the recovered tools was responsible for load-shedding in recent times.

Birori said two power pylons in Jabana sector gave in to wind after being weakened by the destruction of support pillars.

“The theft not only made EWSA invest about Rwf114 million to repair these power plants but also prevented us from delivering a quick and good service to our clients,” Birori said.

He urged people to fight such people who destroy the infrastructures for their own interests.


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