A chips vendor in Nyandaru has been sentenced to serve two years in prison or pay a fine of Ksh200,000 after he was found guilty of cooking chips with transformer oil and selling them to customers.
The court heard that Elijah Mwangi Muthoga used transformer oil to prepare chips for customers at his hotel in Ol Katou trading centre. He would later resell the oil to popcorn vendors for the preparation of popcorn for customers.
He was sentenced alongside his accomplice, Zachary Mwangi Gitau, who sold the transformer oil to him.
Gitau was slapped with a 10-year sentence or an alternative fine of Ksh10 million for vandalising a 100kva transformer contrary to section 169 (1) of the Energy Act of 2019.
While welcoming the ruling, Kenya Power noted that the ruling was a big boost to the company's effort to fight transformer vandalism.
In a statement shared, the utility company alluded that vandalism was one of the leading causes of power outages in the country and losses in the company.
They also acknowledged that stringent measures had been put in place to safeguard electricity assets in the country.
"This ruling is a big boost to the company's effort to fight transformer vandalism as the stiff penalties and jail terms will deter vandals," Kenya Power’s Ag. Manager for Security Services Maj. Paul Nyaga (Rtd) stated.
"Vandalism of transformer is one of the leading causes of power outages. In addition to undermining the quality and reliability of the electricity supply, transformer vandalism poses a risk of electrocution and exposes the company to financial losses in lost sales and the cost of replacing transformers," the statement added.