Owners of 14 houses nabbed for electricity theft

Fourteen residential houses in Zanzibar have been illegally connected with electricity in an ongoing crackdown of electricity theft in the Isles.

The houses were identified in Mazizini, Chukwani and Mbuyu Mnene in the outskirts of Zanzibar City in the crackdown led by Zanzibar Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals, Shaibu Hassan Kaduara.

The minister said tough action will be taken against offenders, including disconnection and taking them to court.

“We are serious. We must end electricity theft which leads to loss or reduction of revenue by the Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO). Responsible citizens must help us by providing information,” the minister informed journalists during the impromptu inspection.

He said that about 40 per cent of electricity is connected illegally, vowing not to have mercy on any resident who will be found guilty of the offence.

Earlier, the minister spoke to ZECO employees in Unguja, warning them against involving themselves in connecting power illegally to residents for personal gain.

He said any employee who will be implicated for aiding electricity theft will not be spared, saying they will be fired and charged for economic sabotage.

“I have names of some workers who are allegedly getting involved in illegal connection of electricity. We are investigating,” the minister said.

He instructed the management of ZECO to pay debts the company owes their workers including overtime.

The Principal Secretary (PS) in the Minister Mr Joseph Kilangi urged people who want power connection to follow the process and if they face any unnecessary delays and charges including corruption, to call him directly. He also called on employees to observe discipline and ethics.

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