Court Sentences Juma Saidi and Opio Tomson to Three Years in Prison for Vandalism
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On 10th May 2022, the Standards, Utilities and Wildlife Court (the Electricity Court) convicted and sentenced Juma Saidi, a scrap dealer in Lira District and Opio Tomson, a resident of Lira District to Three (3) years imprisonment for vandalizing and tampering with electrical installations.
According to court records, on 2nd September 2021, Juma Saidi was found with aluminium cables and rolls of wires worth Uganda Shillings 400 million, vandalized from the Karuma line belonging to Sino Hydro Company Limited. Juma Saidi informed the police that he had received the aluminium wires from Opio Tomson.
Juma Saidi and Opio Tomson were charged and convicted of tampering, theft and conspiracy under Section 81 (1) of the Electricity Act, 1999.
While sentencing the duo, Her Worship Marion Mangeni stated that cases of vandalism are on the rise and that it was necessary to give a custodial sentence to the accused to stop the chain of vandalism. She added that the conviction was a warning to the public and those involved in vandalizing electricity materials to stop or be imprisoned.
The ERA prosecutor, Charlotte Kyohairwe, stated that the accused deserved such a deterrent sentence to enable the other culprits to stop vandalism, which imposes a high cost on electricity consumers through the tariffs.