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Police in Lilongwe have arrested five people over vandalism and theft of ESCOM property.

ESCOM said it has recovered about one thousand metres of aluminium power conductors suspected to have been stolen in some parts of Lilongwe including Mitundu, this year.

Police Publicist for Lilongwe, Hastings Chigaru, said the suspects who include one ESCOM sub-contractor have been identified as Aggrey Mwakasungula, 48, of Mwakasungula Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kyungu, Karonga District, two ex-ESCOM employees namely; Charles Chaima, 35 of Mukwala 2 Village, T/A Chikho, Ntchisi. Lukasi Ezekiel (masterminder), 24, Makutumula Village,
T/A Chitekwere, Yotamu Kachepa, 45, Thewo Village, T/A Kabudula all in Lilongwe, and Lazalo Thembachako, 37, of Kalitsiro Village, T/A Njolomole in Ntcheu District.

Chigaru said in February this year ESCOM reported of an incident of vandalism in Mitundu at the Thawale area where at least 14 poles were taken down and aluminium power conductor wire totalling 4200 metres worth over 11 million kwacha was stolen.

Chigaru said following the report, Police detectives intensified their investigations that resulted in the arrest of the four suspects who later after interrogation revealed the identity of the above-named sub-contractor as their main colleague in the syndicate.

Chigaru said part of the power conductor wires have been recovered at a site where the said ESCOM sub-contractor was about to use in connecting a certain lodge to the ESCOM power grid in the lakeshore district of Salima.

“This is a worrisome development because these people are putting the lives of many people at risk, you know in these areas there are hospitals and other facilities that rely on electricity,” lamented Chigaru.

The suspects will appear in court soon to answer vandalism and theft charges.

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