Two People In Court After Arrest By Boda Boda Riders Over KPLC Equipment Vandalism

Fridah Wangechi | 1 year ago
The two suspects who were nabbed digging up copper conductors at Lang'ata area PHOTO: The Nation

Two boda boda riders have been credited with the arrest of two men who were caught trying to vandalize energy infrastructure connected to the Nairobi power grid which could have sent the city into a blackout.

The two men, Humphrey Ombenda Mahangili and Levis William Okwira , were found digging up wires at the Westpark area in Langata by a herder who alerted the boda boda riders who rushed to nab them before they caused any more damage to the power lines.

The riders called the police who arrested them at the scene and on Monday, May 16, arraigned at the Kibera Law courts where they pleaded guilty to the charges of damaging manhole covers used to cover manholes where high voltage underground copper conductors are installed.

However, during the reading of their charges on Tuesday, May 17, they denied the charges, claiming that their attention was drawn to a manhole they happened to be walking past, and despite being found with a mattock and a hammer, they claimed they were not digging up the copper conductors when they were arrested by the boda boda riders.

A third suspect and their accomplice escaped when they were being apprehended by the riders.

They allegedly almost tampered with copper conductors installed to supply electrical energy from Embakasi's main substation to the Nairobi city center substation under the control of Kenya Power, with the damage accruing to approximately Kshs 250,000.

Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Bhoke hence charged them with handling damaged energy infrastructure materials contrary to Section 169 of the Energy Act of 2019.

They are accused of dishonestly retaining vandalized energy infrastructure materials without the consent of Kenya Power.

The prosecution told the court that such incidences cost the power supplier millions of shillings in repairs and maintenance, as these materials were costly in their procurement.

Mahangili and Okwira were released on a bond of Kshs 300,000 and an alternative cash bail of Kshs 200,000 each after disputing the facts of the case.

The case will be mentioned on May 31 for pre-trial and scheduling of hearing dates.

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