“Investigations are still underway.”
Balaka Magistrates Court has sentenced Dickson Chipoya to two years in jail for attempted theft of an Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited transformer stationed at Khwisa Trading Centre in the district on February 3 2021.
Balaka Police spokesperson, Felix Misomali, said the court handed a 24 months sentence on Chipoya for malicious damage and 12 months for attempted theft last week.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Chipoya hails originally from Chinamwali in Zomba.
He said the court acquitted another suspect, who was answering similar charges, whereas the case for another one, Madalitso Gama, a faults operator for ESCOM, is pending at the same court.
“We are asking communities to always verify, through authorities near them, true identities of Escom officials [seen] tampering with any Escom property. Investigations are still underway to arrest, the other two suspects, who are still at large,” Misomali said.
Khwisa residents foiled the attempted theft after getting suspicious with the men when they were dismounting the transformer, minutes after they had alighted from a motor vehicle they hired from Blantyre.
Eight other suspects are answering similar charges in Mzuzu and Kasungu for separate offences they committed last month.
Theft of transformers and its copper cables has hit ESCOM hard thereby undermining its electricity service delivery efforts across the country, the Corporation has confirmed.