Police Prefers Terrorism Charges Against Utility Vandals

Exhibits of electric pylons

Any person who will be arrested vandalizing utility infrastructure will be charged with offences related to terrorism. Police and sister security agencies have reached with the guidance of the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution -DPP.

Senior Commissioner of Police, Fred Enanga, said the leadership of the joint security agencies has welcomed efforts from the office of the DPP, of prosecuting acts of vandalism of utility infrastructure, sabotage and destruction of public property under the Anti – Terrorism Act, 2002.

“Therefore, any attack or destruction of a single point of our critical infrastructure could lead to disruptions or destruction that could harm the community and the country at large,” Enanga said.

The Anti-Terrorism Act under section 7(2) states “A person commits an act of terrorism for purposes of influencing the Government or intimidating the public or a section of the public and for a political, religious, social or economic aim, indiscriminately without due regard to the safety of others or property carries out all or any of the following acts.”

Security has revealed that five suspects who include; Atusasire Richard 27, Electrician with Polocom Tech Engineering service; Mwekambe Innocent; Mwine Mutaho Johnson, a technician with UMEME Uganda Ltd, Mbarara office, Tashobya Edgar, aged 35 and Tumusiime Samuel, have already been charged to court with terrorism related offences after they allegedly vandalised 500 meters of electricity wires.

The accused allegedly committed the crimes in Butanga 2 village, in Isingiro district. Police have impounded two motor vehicles a Nissan pick-up registration number UBD 498V and a Toyota Wish, registration number UBG 233A were impounded and exhibited.

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Terrorism acts include intentional and unlawful manufacture, delivery, placement, discharge or detonation of a terror explosive or other lethal device, whether attempted or actual, in, into or against a place of public use, a state of Government facility, a public transportation system or an infrastructure facility, with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or extensive destruction likely to or actually resulting in major economic loss,

“It is now evident from the continuous acts of sabotage and destruction of public property, that terrorism does not solely result from violent tactics such as active shooter events, IEDs, suicide and road side bombs, etc, but also from saboteurs and other disaffected persons, targeting vital utility infrastructure,” Enanga said.

The joint security forces have said going forward all agents, collaborators, dealers and brokers of utility infrastructure are informed of this new development. Security has urged stakeholders under the criminal justice system, remain committed to maintaining the safety of all utility infrastructure in the county and will aggressively pursue, all perpetrators causing significant damage to utility infrastructure.

“We also implore all members of the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities around power installations in their areas, to the local council and nearest security agency,” Enanga said.

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