Three men jailed for tampering with ESCOM transformer


Three men have been jailed 6 years each after the First Grade Magistrate’s court sitting at Mponela in Dowa District found them guilty of vandalizing Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) transformer.

Mponela police prosecutor Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo narrated before presiding Magistrate that on August 18, 2021 at around 23:00 o’clock, residents from Madisi Trading Centre experienced abnormal blackout.

They immediately enquired from ESCOM Distribution Supervisor from Mponela who together with residents and officers from Mponela Police Station rushed to where they planted ESCOM transformer near Water Board offices.

Upon reaching at the said transformer, they saw four unknown people running away and the team tried to entangle them but failed.

On the same night at around 2:00 o’clock, a team of Police officers met two men, Desmond Phiri and Stephano Nkhata who looked stranded wanting a means of transport.

They were arrested after being found with two Nuts and rubbers suspected to have been stolen somewhere else and indeed, ESCOM officers recognized them as people from the said tampered transformer. A third suspect was also arrested after.

The three were formally charged with the offence of vandalism of ESCOM apparatus which is against section 45, (2), (d) of the Electricity Act.

In court, the trio pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against them which forced the state to parade four witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Prosecutor Mathambo prayed for stiff punishment to earn them lesson and deter others with similar evil intentions.

Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri concurred with the state’s submissions and sentenced the three to a 6 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour.

The convicts are Kashoni Kasitomu 33 from Chimphepo Village, Traditional Authority Mtema in Lilongwe District; Desmond Phiri 30, from Phimbi Village, Traditional Authority Mkaya in Mangochi District; and Stephano Nkhata 26, hails from Bilare Village, Traditional Authority Lukwa in Kasungu District.