A Shs 1 billion fine or a 15 years jail term awaits anyone who is found guilty of vandalizing electricity infrastructure following the passing of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
Legislators passed the Bill on Wednesday,
This passing of the bill comes at a time when the country has been experiencing vandalism of power lines, transformers, poles and other related infrastructure.
The object of the bill is to among others, provide for deterrent penalties for theft of electricity and vandalism of electrical facilities, provide for the membership and funding of the
The bill also seeks to prescribe the circumstances under which a holder of a generation or transmission licence may supply electricity to persons other than a bulk supplier to industrial parks at a tariff determined by government.
This will eliminate
While presenting the report of the
However, Members of
Hon. Milton Muwuma (NRM, Kigulu County South) said that it is necessary to increase the penalties to counter the mushrooming scrap dealers who always source their raw material from vandalism of state property.
"These people vandalize meters, poles and transformers putting the country at a loss. The penalty on vandalism should even be higher than Shs4 million," he said.
Bugweri County Members of
Citing the vandalism of the chain link fencing constructed around the
"We need very strong and deterrent measures to curb some members of the public from vandalizing public property. These people need to be scandalized and therefore, the fine should be a minimum of Shs5 million," Katuntu added.
The Attorney General, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka said defended the need for the hefty penalties.
"The people taking down the power lines and other infrastructure are not the common people down there. These vandals are very sophisticated people. So we need to make the law very deterrent," he said.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Emmanuel Otaala defended the penalties saying that a single electricity tower costs Shs300 million and when cut down, it affects to other towers which cost should be met by the vandal.
On the removal of monopoly of distribution of electricity, the committee observed that government owns the largest dams, transmission and distribution assets in the can by policy use the leverage to sell power to industries at a low cost as currently planned in industrial parks.
The committee dropped the proposal of listing the successor companies of the Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) on the stock exchange arguing that three companies continue to acquire debt and assets through financing by tax payers.
"It is therefore, inconceivable how companies that survive on tax payers loan repayments can issue shares and securities for the private sector to acquire a stake in them," Kugonza said.
The committee also proposed an increase in funding of the
(C) 2022 M2 COMMUNICATIONS, source