The masterminds behind the vandalism of part of Kenya Power & Lighting (KPLC) electricity infrastructure have finally been arrested by detectives.
Thomas Anasi, 38, who is a former line technician at the country’s electricity distribution company, and Joseph Kagwi, 36, a multi-millionaire unscrupulous businessman based in Thika, are currently in our custody after being linked to the high-level crime.
The two were arrested following the disappearance of electricity cables and other materials meant for a rural electrification project in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta county. Before their disappearance, the materials worth millions of shillings were at a site in Kushe area, where the government was in the process of connecting locals to the national grid.
However, the duo 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 comprising of technicians and engineers targets electricity connection sites and power lines and has been responsible for plunging parts of the country to darkness.
In this case, the masterminds of the syndicate deployed a crane truck that loaded and ferried the materials from the site to a yard in Nairobi, leaving residents who were expecting to have their villages connected to power disappointed.
In an operation conducted by sleuths from the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, and crime busters from Wundanyi DCI, Anasi was arrested in Kayole while Kagwi was seized in Thika.
Preliminary investigations have 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.
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.
Meanwhile, the two suspects are currently being grilled by detectives as the operation to net more suspects continues.