Crime escalates in Kabale as street lights shutdown

Members of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) are seen replacing solar powered street lights with hydroelectric street lights in July 2021. PHOTO/ROBERT MUHEREZA

What you need to know:

  • On average, two to three criminal cases are now recorded per night as the thugs take advantage of the darkness, according to authorities. 

There is a reported increase of criminal activities in Kabale Town following a more than two-week shutdown of hydroelectric street lights due to a technical fault yet to be fixed.

“On average, two to three criminal cases are recorded per night as the thugs take advantage of the darkness unlike in the recent past when no single case was being reported when the street lights were still working,” Kabale Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Mr Godfrey Nyakahuma told Monitor.

He added that the shutdown of the street lights has interfered with security operations since police surveillance cameras are affected.

“Security records about two to three cases of panga-wielding thieves robbing people every night. The good thing is that through our intelligence networks, we have managed to arrest about 17 suspected criminals that are yet to be aligned in court for prosecution,” Mr Nyakahuma noted.

The Kabale UNRA station manager Mr Felix Beinamaryo said he has already communicated the issue to the concerned department.

“The technical team promised to fix the fault after mobilizing the required equipment. I am sure the fault shall soon be fixed,” Mr Beinamaryo said on Thursday.

Vandalism

In July last year, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) removed most solar powered street lighting systems which were replaced with the hydroelectric lights.

“Solar powered ones provided insufficient light due to the absence of enough sunlight to charge the batteries,” authorities told Monitor on September 22.

The Kabale Municipal Council Mayor Mr Byamugisha Sentaro decried vandalism of the street lights which has also escalated crime.

Kabale Municipal Council senior environmental officer Mr Alfred Ahimbisibwe said “89 out of 98 solar powered streets lights that were erected along Kigongi, Nyerere Road, Nyerere Avenue, Bank lane, Nkunda and Keita roads in Kabale town between 2017 and 2018 are functional.”

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