MAN SENTENCED TO 4 YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR THEFT OF EGENCO EQUIPMENT AT LIWONDEegenco
A 23 year old man has been sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labor for stealing EGENCO equipment and structures worth over MK13, 000, 000.00 at the Company’s Liwonde Weed Management Station.
Handing over the sentence, First Grade Magistrate Chrispin Sachuluka stressed the importance of electricity to the economic activities of the country and how the suspect’s actions posed a threat to EGENCO’s power generation operations at its power stations.
“The weed control structure that the suspect vandalized was built to trap weeds from the Shire River so that only clean water goes for power generation at EGENCO’s hydro power stations. Collapsing of the structure can affect the efficiency of power generation operations, leading the country into blackouts.” Said the Magistrate.
He further lamented that vandalism of public property and structures is becoming a norm, affecting service delivery. Therefore, he could not be lenient in his sentencing of the suspect although he was a first offender.
In his reaction to the judgment, EGENCO’s Assistant Public Relations Officer, Mervin Mchenga, said he was happy with the sentence as it would deter others from stealing and vandalizing the Company’s property and structures.
“We hope the sentencing will send a strong message – vandalism and theft of our structures sets us back. Instead of investing into other projects, we are forced to deploy resources to replacing and maintaining structures that have either been stolen or vandalized.” Said Mchenga.
In early November, 23 year old Henry Chazunga from Njirayagoma village, Traditional Authority Phalura, Balaka, was arrested as the main suspect of theft and vandalism of EGENCO’s weed management structures which he was selling to a scrap dealer at Liwonde. The scrap dealer, a Mr. Emmanuel Maluwa has also been apprehended and is answering charges of receiving stolen property.