Teargas rocked Kalerwe in Kampala city suburbs
on Tuesday afternoon during an operation by power distributor, Umeme against
It all started after a team of Umeme officials
stormed the area with the backing of police, the army and Local Defense Unit-
LDU personnel and starting inspecting houses in Kalerwe and Mulago.
However, the officials met resistance from
angry residents of Kalerwe who pelted them with stones and blocked
the road towards Kyebando roundabout with stone boulders and logs.
prompted police to fire tear gas to disperse the crowd as the LDU chased them
away using sticks and guns.
Umar Lwasa, a retail trader in Kalerwe was one of the victims
of tear gas. He says police officers fired a teargas canister in his shop
despite the fact that he wasn’t part of the protest.
Lwasa faulted Umeme for failing to eliminate
the people behind illegal connection and also advised that the best way to
fight the vice is to sensitise residents against illegal power connection.
//Cue in: “Abamasannyalaze batufuukidde…
Cue out: …mwe kagude”//
Eng. John Nuwamanya, the metering service manager Kampala
East and North, says that just like in other areas, they found underground
networks, poorly joint meters and bypassed meters with very low bills among
Nuwamanya says that the company makes a loss of Shillings
8 billion monthly from illegal connections on the Wandegeya sub-station. He cautioned
the public against illegal connections, saying the vice affects power tariffs.
//Cue in: “That does not only…
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Nuwamanya said they had picked 52 people in connection to the
illegal connections. He however says they are likely to settle
rather than prosecute the offenders.
The offenders can be billed on the estimated amount of power
they have been consuming illegally and later be encouraged to apply for
connection through legit channels.
According to Nuwamanya, since the operations started in
September, over 250 people have legalized their connections with UMEME.
they are still engaging people and leaders to legalize illegal connection in
Bwaise, Nabweru, Kiganda, kiyaye in Nakulabye and Kawempe.
Nuwamanya says they are engaging local leaders to sensitize
the public to work with UMEME and avoid illegal operators, saying they continue
to prosecute illegal operators.