Palabek Kal Sub County leaders in Lamwo District have closed down
offices of Pader- Abim Community Multi-Purpose Electric Co-operative Society
This follows protests staged on Friday by more than 200 local businessmen and
residents who accused the cooperative society of failing to ensure stable
electricity in the area.
Geoffrey Nyeko, the Palabek Kal Sub-County Chairperson says the area has not
had electricity for the past two months without any PACMEC officials giving explanations
about the cause of the power outage.
Nyeko notes that the decision to close down PACMECS offices was to fulfill
demands of the aggrieved electricity users who were turning rowdy seeking for
solutions to the power outage.
The keys to the offices have been handed over to the Police at
Palabek Kal police post according to Nyeko.
“The power challenge in Palabek Kal has reached an alarming level, locals are
continuing to pay service fee despite not using power. There has not been power
in our area for the past two months,” Nyeko told Uganda Radio Network in an
Bosco Ocaya, one of the businessmen in Palabek Kal Sub County who operates a
Computer centre says he has been relying on a generator to run his workstation
due to power blackout.
Ocaya says the cooperative society has been very unreliable in their operation
citing incidences where a power consumer has to take more than two days to
receive electricity units after paying power bills.
He added that despite the persistent power blackout, PACMECS officials had been
collecting monthly service fee of shillings 3,700 from those connected on the
Ocaya says they are now tired of the cooperative society and demands government
to introduce a new company to manage electricity distribution to residents in
Simon Ojok Odoch, the PACMECS Board Chairperson attributed the irregular power supply to the malfunctioning of one of the
auto circuit recloser breaker device at Kitgum UMEME Substation.
He says the device blew up and affected the entire Lamwo District and the sub-counties
of Mucwini and Kitgum Matidi in Kitgum districts.
Odoch says although they had written to Rural Electricity Agency and
Electricity Regulatory Authority to intervene, fixing the problem took a
while because of the lockdown measures.
//cue in: “we have what…
Cue out:…It is not easy.”//
Odoch says a new auto recloser circuit breaker was fixed over the weekend
adding that the district power woes have been fixed.
He, however, condemned the approach taken to close down their offices citing
that the businessmen and sub-county leaders had no legal right to shut down
their operations adding that they will follow up the matter.
//cue in: “First of all…
Cue out:…PACMECS will do.”//
James Nabinson Kidega, the Lamwo Resident District Commissioner says his office
will investigate the matter.
In Agago district, similar persistent electricity outage sparked uproar against
PACMECS officials in September last year after businessmen complained of losing
Pader-Abim Multipurpose Electric Cooperative Society Ltd is responsible for
distributing electricity to Pader, Lamwo, Kitgum, Abim districts and parts of
Omoro and Gulu districts. Power consumers pay subsidized rates under the project
funded by the African Development Bank, the European Union and German State
development bank; KfW.