Two in court for vandalising Kenya Power cables
Two men who were busted by boda boda riders while digging up underground electric cables have recanted their guilty plea before a Nairobi court.
Humphrey Ombenda Mahangili and Levis William Okwira nearly caused a blackout in Nairobi’s CBD and its environs on Sunday.
On Monday when they appeared before the Kibera Law Courts the two pleaded guilty to charges of vandalising energy infrastructure. But 24 hours later they made claims that amounted to denying the charges after the facts of the case were read to them.
The two were arrested with a mattock and hammer while allegedly digging up the cables at Westpark area in Langata.
But the two told Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Bhoke that they were walking past the manhole when they stopped to have a look at it when a herder alerted the boda boda riders. Their accomplices are reported to have escaped during the incident.
The copper conductors are installed to supply electrical energy from Embakasi main substation to Nairobi city centre substation under the control of Kenya Power Company.
The duo are accused of damaging the energy infrastructure worth Sh250,000. They are also facing charges of handling damaged energy infrastructure materials contrary to section 169 of the Energy Act of 2019.
They are further accused of dishonestly retaining vandalized energy infrastructure materials without consent of Kenya Power Company, having reasons to believe them to have been stolen or dishonestly retained in the course of stealing them.
The court heard that similar vandalism had hugely caused Kenya Power Company in terms of repair and maintenance because the cost of the materials is very high.
The accused persons were released on a bond of Sh300, 000 and an alternative cash bail of Sh200, 000 after disputing facts of the case. The case will be mentioned on May 31, 2022 for pre-trial and fixing of hearing dates.