Serial Kenya Power vandal in court for syphoning transformer oil – VIDEO
Kenya Power and Lighting Company security officers have arrested a suspected serial vandal suspected to be the leader of cartel syphoning oil from their transformers within Nairobi.
Michael Muange Mutisya was arrested in Githunguri alongside his accomplice Jackson Muraya Nderitu and reportedly found with more than 250 litres of transformer oil.
The two were nabbed while allegedly selling the oil to unscrupulous hoteliers who are said to use it in frying chips and other fast foods before selling to unsuspecting customers.
The transformer oil is also said to be sold to tailors and welders for use on their machines.
Mutisya and Nderitu were charged at Makadara law courts on Monday with vandalism and were accused of destroying a 200KV transformer worth Sh700,000 on March 5.
The two suspects admitted the charges before principal magistrate Jackie Kibosia but changed their plea after they were informed of the penalties the crime would attract.
KPLC had availed the oil in court as an exhibit after the two pleaded guilty to the charges.
Vandalism of energy installation and infrastructure attracts hefty penalties, including a fine of not less than Sh5 million and an alternative jail term of not less than 10 years, or both.
The two had been given a chance to enter a plea-bargaining agreement with the office of the director of public prosecutions but disowned their part of the bargain fearing penalties.
The terms of the agreement included aiding KPLC to apprehend others they have been colluding with to carry out the vandalism of the power distributor’s infrastructure.
They were freed on a cash bail of Sh200,000 with the hearing set to start on May 19.
Mutisya was arrested slightly over a month after he was released from the remand where he had spent more than a year after being charged with similar offences on April 29, 2019.
He had been granted a Sh300,000 bond, which he failed to raise hence his imprisonment.
In the earlier charges, Mutisya was charged alongside four others with vandalising five KPLC transformers in Njiru, Airways Estate in Embakasi, Mwihoko and Viwandani in Makadara.
He was also charged with handling stolen goods for dishonestly retaining 345 litres of the KPLC transformer oil knowing it had been stolen when he was arrested on April 26, 2019.
Mutisya and his accomplices; Joseph Turuthi, Dimala Huka, Leonard Njau and Stephen Ngolya Mulwa then denied the charges before chief magistrate Heston Nyaga.
He was in custody until January when he was released after pleading with Nyaga to review his bail terms and was out on a Sh30,000 cash bail before his arrest for similar offence.