Police have arrested the masterminds behind the vandalism of Kenya Power & Lighting (KPLC) infrastructure.
Thomas Anasi, 38, a former line technician at the country’s electricity distribution company and Joseph Kagwi, 36, a businessman, were arrested following investigations that linked the two to the crime in parts of the country.
“The two were arrested following the disappearance of electricity cables and other materials meant for a rural electrification project in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta county,” the police said in a statement.
“Before their disappearance, the materials worth millions of shillings were at a site in the Kushe area, where the government was in the process of connecting locals to the national grid.”
Anasi and Kagwi, who are well connected to insiders at KPLC, masterminded the disappearance of wires, rods, conductors, and other equipment meant for the project on January 28, 2022.
The highly organized syndicate comprised of technicians and engineers targets electricity connection sites and power lines. This has caused massive electricity blackouts in a number of areas within the country.
It is believed that they use a crane truck to transport the materials from the site to a yard in Nairobi.
In an operation conducted by sleuths from the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, Anasi was arrested in Kayole while Kagwi was seized in Thika.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that Kagwi is well connected to engineers and technicians working at KPLC, who provide him with information on the sites where electricity connection is ongoing before the equipment disappears,” the police said.
Following the operation, the crane truck used to load and ferry the materials was impounded and it is currently detained at Kayole police station. Also recovered were some of the stolen cables and metal rods that find their way to the black market, through Kagwi and his associates.
The arrest of the two suspects comes barely three weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta, banned dealings in scrap metal due to increased cases of vandalism, targeting critical national infrastructure.
Last November, operations along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi Standard gauge railway (SGR) had to be stopped for two hours after gauge blocks were vandalized from the line.