ESCOM employees and 2 others fined K250,000 each for illegal electricity connections

By Peter Kanjere, ESCOM PRO

Four people, including two ESCOM Limited employees, have been fined K250,000 each for committing offences of illegal connections to buildings at Namadzi Trading Centre in Chiradzulu District.

Chiradzulu Police spokesperson, Constable Cosmas Kagulo, confirmed the development through a statement.

Chiradzulu Third Grade Magistrate’s Court fined 33-year-old Zomba ESCOM linesperson Bathlomew Gowero, temporary linesperson Anord Kalunga (33), ex-ESCOM employee Chifundo Chasweka (30) and private electrician Robert Hannock (30) on October 27 2023.

Chiradzulu Third Grade Magistrate Phwitiko delivered the judgement on the four convicts while further giving them an option of serving a 30-month jail term in default. The four are said to have paid the fines.

The four had pleaded not guilty to the offences when they appeared before the court, but the State paraded witnesses who testified beyond reasonable doubt.

In mitigation, the convicts asked for lenience, saying they were first-time offenders whereas State prosecutor Inspector Chankoma prayed for a stiff punishment.

The court had heard earlier that ESCOM personnel, who were on a meter-upgrading exercise at Namadzi Trading Centre in June 2023, stumbled on the illegal connections after finding a meter placed on a wall of one of the buildings, instead of a pole.

The owner of the building implicated Hannock as the electrician behind the illegal connection, and in turn, he revealed that it was Chasweka who supplied him the meter and wires. Chasweka’s arrest led the police to his accomplices.

Hannock hails originally from Nkhukuteni Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Machinjiri in Blantyre, Chasweka is from Kandeu Village, T/A Mponda in Mangochi, Gowero (Namakoka Village, T/A Mwambo in Zomba and Katunga (Ntaja Village, T/A Dambe in Neno.

ESCOM has been pushing for stiffer punishments for those involved in illegal extensions and vandalism so as to discourage would-be offenders.

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