Utility Infrastructure Vandals to Face Terrorism Charges

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The Uganda Police Force has announced that all vandal suspects who will be arrested for vandalizing utility infrastructure, including power lines, will be charged with terrorism going forward.

While addressing the weekly press conference on Monday, January 23rd, 2023, at the police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala, the police spokesperson, SCP Fred Enanga, says the leadership of the Joint Security Agencies has welcomed efforts from the Directorate of Public Prosecution to upgrade the current acts of vandalism of utility infrastructure from mere malicious damage to acts of terrorism.

“We want to thank all stakeholders under the criminal justice system for their commitment to maintaining the safety of all electric infrastructures in the country,” Enanga said.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and other stakeholders under the Criminal Justice system are making preparations to upgrade some of the acts of vandalism of utility infrastructure, sabotage, and destruction of public property under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2002 (as amended).

The joint security agencies have also warned all agents, collaborators, dealers, and brokers of utility infrastructure equipment about the new law’s development.

The new law development follows rampant vandalism of electricity tower lines, poles, and transformers by an unidentified but suspected group of metal scrap dealers across the country.

An analysis of UETCL’s data on vandalism of electricity lines for the past 17 months indicates that up to 52 electricity transmission towers have been destroyed by vandals along the corridor between Bujagali Hydropower Dam and Kakira Sugarcane Plantation. This has greatly affected electricity transmission for domestic and commercial purposes.

According to Section 7(1) of the Anti-terrorism Act, 2002 (as amended), the offence of terrorism is punishable on conviction by the maximum death penalty.

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