ESCOM employees attempt to steal transformer in Balaka

Two ESCOM employees and one ex-employee are on the run after their attempt to steal a transformer was foiled by alert residents in Balaka.

The ESCOM employees wanted to steal a transformer at Khwisa Trading Centre in Balaka.

ESCOM Public Relations Manager Innocent Chitosi has identified the employees as Madalitso Gama who is a fault operator, Isaac Jonas – a temporary linesman at Balaka ESCOM office, and Ted Mussa – an ex-ESCOM employee.

He added that the police in Balaka have arrested two other suspects and the vehicle which was used for the operation.

According to Chitosi, a joint investigation by the police and ESCOM security personnel revealed that Gama, allegedly hired the vehicle, a Toyota Dyna registration number MJ 226, in Blantyre on Wednesday last week.

Vehicle used during the thieves operation

“Gama, who is at large, was transferred from Balaka to Blantyre last year. He is a faults operator but went on leave and was expected back in office mid this month,” Chitosi said.

He explained that the vehicle picked two other people from Blantyre and another one in Balaka.

“They went to Khwisa Trading Centre and disconnected the transformer. Residents at the centre were suspicious and apprehended the two while the others, including Gama fled from the scene,” he said.

Chitosi said besides Gama, others on the run are Jonas and Ted Mussa the ex-ESCOM employee.

Chitosi has since urged the general public across the country to emulate members of the community at Khwisa in being vigilant in protecting ESCOM property.

There has been a spate of transformer vandalism and theft cases leaving several areas in darkness for long periods.