Eight in Trouble Over Theft of High Voltage Power Line Construction Material

Eight people are in trouble for the alleged theft of materials from the ongoing construction of the Mirama-Kabale-Rubanda high voltage power line.  Four of the suspects are locked up at Rukiga police station.

They are Moreen Nuwamanya, a resident of Mutambuka village in Central Division, Kabale municipality, and the supervisor of CGTSCC, a Chinese firm that was contracted to set up the 85-kilometer-high voltage line, Beatrice Tushemerirwe, Ramadan Nuwamanya, and Apollo Amanyire, all residents of Muhanga town council in Rukiga district. 

The identities of the other four suspects have not yet been disclosed. Ibrah Kazibwe, one of CGTSCC officials says that when he returned on duty from the Christmas break on January 6th, 2023 he found some materials including 146 bags of cement, 80 iron bars, and steel tubes of TMT500 type for casting the foundation missing. 

According to Kazibwe, he reported the matter to the Muhanga police station, which discovered that the missing materials were stolen by Alex Nuwamanya, the company’s civil engineer who went on the run. Elly Maate, police spokesperson for the Kigezi region says that security mounted a search on Tuesday and managed to recover 13 bags of the stolen cement from the premises of Ramadan Nuwamanya and Amanyire.  

Maate says that four of the suspects whose identities have not yet been released by police were found at Amanyire’s construction site. According to Maate, investigations also indicate that the workers who were assigned to guard the site store abandoned it and are on the run. 

The construction of the power line that is scheduled to be completed in 2024 has reached Bukinda in the Rukiga district. The project is being financed by the Islamic Development Bank and the Government of Uganda with the aim of powering a multi-billion planned Iron ore smelting plant to be constructed at Kabirizi, Kanyamatembe, and Kishaki villages in Rubanda town council, Rubanda district.               

In 2018, Rubanda District Council allocated land to host the factory. In March 2019, the then Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, and political leaders from Kigezi Sub-region led officials from the Devki Group of Companies to inspect the land, which they approved. However, the implementation of the project has dragged on due to the lack of high-voltage power.         

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