Kenya Power has partnered with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to fight rising cases of vandalism and to protect electricity equipment.

Towards this, the DCI has attached 42 officers to work collaboratively with Kenya Power’s security team and other relevant functions to stem vandalism, theft of electricity and fiber, as well as illegal encroachment of wayleaves.

During the last financial year, the Company recorded a 46% growth in cases of transformer vandalism affecting 242 transformers compared to 165 units that were vandalized during the previous year.

“We have witnessed a recent surge in cases of vandalism and illegal connections across the country leading to unplanned power outages that inconvenience our customers. The Company is working with various security agencies, including collaboration with the DCI, to tackle these illegal activities. We are confident that the partnership with the DCI will boost our capacity to proactively fight vandalism and other crimes through an intelligence-led approach,” Kenya Power’s Managing Director & CEO Dr. (Eng) Joseph Siror.

Beyond the loss of revenue for the Company, vandalism and illegal power connections expose the public to the danger of electrocution. Additionally, vandalism compromises the quality of power supply and directly affects the economy as reliable electricity supply is crucial for economic growth. The Company is rolling out a public awareness campaign to address these issues.

“The DCI will continue supporting investigations and protecting the energy sector against criminal activities whenever we are called upon. Through partnerships such as the one we now have with Kenya Power, we will work collaboratively for purposes of following the money trail, especially among those handling stolen copper and oil from vandalized transformers, so that the masterminds of these activities are arrested and prosecuted,” Paul Wachira, Deputy Director for Investigations at the DCI.

Since July last year, a total of 1,026 people have been arrested across the country and prosecuted for various illegal activities within the electricity network. Of these, 472 cases relate to vandalism, theft of energy equipment and damage to energy infrastructure. Illegal connections and fraudulent consumption of electricity account for 320 while 33 people were arrested for wayleave encroachment.