By Catherine Tusemerirwe
It has been noted that people who vandalise the solar system in Hoima City, mount the solar pylons pretending to be technicians, according to the Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC) for East Division.
Mr Donanto William Kasigazi says these thugs execute their mission in the wee hours of the night camouflaging to be repairing the system yet they are stealing the solar accessories at different streets and roads in the city.
He reveals that the thieves have resorted to even stealing the solar panels from the system contrary to the past when they used to steal only batteries for the street lights and sell them to scrap dealers.
The RCC adds that vandals commit the crime in areas devoid of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.
Following the vandalism, some parts of the city are in a blackout putting the lives of people at odds of falling an easy prey to criminals.
Kiganda, Rusaka and Kinuubi are some of the affected areas with larger parts along the roads in darkness making it risky for people to use those roads at night. CCTV cameras were installed farther apart at between Kikwite and Rusaka – too long a distance characterised by a sharp bend to connect to another one to the city centre where vandalism extremely happened.
To deal with the criminality, the RCC says security operatives have so far arrested five people with three already on remand at Hoima government prison in Kiryateete, Hoima city while two were released after being found guilt-free.
He also says the authorities have scaled up police operations in areas where there are street lamps; urging anybody who sees any person up the solar pylon at night to inform the authorities so that the culprits are apprehended and arraigned before courts of law.
In order to continue fighting the vice, Mr Kasigazi says all scrap dealers in the city have been directed to always close their businesses as early as 7pm.