Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court has convicted three men for vandalizing Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) equipment worth over K22 million.
The equipment are four spans, high voltage oak line of 1, 200 metres long, of 100 millimeters each.
The convicts are Michael Kambalame, 26, Umali Rashid, 35, both Area 36 residents and Chikafa Dzuwa, 41, from Chinsapo.
Lilongwe Police Prosecutor Sub Inspector Vincent Ntalawe said the convicts were apprehended by Dzalanyama Forest Reserve rangers in the wee hours of August 16, 2023, while on their motorcycles, each carrying rolls of the said wires.
“A visit to the scene by Lilongwe Police detectives, accompanied by Escom officials, established that four spans covering a distance of 1.2 kilometers was vandalized,” he said.
Ntalawe further said Lilongwe Police Station impounded the three motorcycles that were used in the transportation of the wires, and also seized the power cables.
In court, the convicts pleaded guilty to the charge of Vandalism of Escom apparatus according to section 45, as read with section 46 of the Electricity Act.
In their own admission, the convicts told police that they use the wires to make welding machines.
The convicts will return in court on Friday, August 25, 2023 when Senior Resident Magistrate Shukran Kumbani is expected to deliver his sentence.
Michael Kambalame hails from Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwambo, Zomba, Umali Rashid comes from Kuntawanga Village, T/A Tambala, Dedza, whilst Chikafa Dzuwa is from Chinsalo Village, T/A Kalolo in Lilongwe District.