Malawi Police in Balaka have arrested Madalitso Gama, the suspected mastermind of last month’s foiled attempted theft of an Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) transformer in the district.
Balaka Police Station spokesperson, Felix Misomali, confirmed the arrest of the 26-year-old ESCOM faults operator Gama, who allegedly fled from the scene at Khwisa Trading Centre.
He said they arrested Gama, who hails from Mchiwa Village, T/A Mabuka in Mulanje District, on March 4 2021, while two more suspects are on the run.
“We urge members of the community to always verify identities of ESCOM employees and their actual motives when they see them tampering with ESCOM property,” Misomali said.
“They can visit any nearest ESCOM office or police station to establish if such people are genuine ESCOM employees and if indeed, they have been sent by ESCOM.”
Khwisa Trading Centre residents had alerted the police after becoming suspicious with the actions of the suspects who had, then, disconnected the transformer.
A joint investigation by the police and ESCOM security personnel revealed that Gama allegedly hired a Toyota Dyna registration number MJ 226, in Blantyre before travelling to Khwisa to commit the crime.
Police also seized the motor vehicle.
Gama has, alongside other suspects, Aubrey Chidothi and Dickson Lexson Chipoya, who were arrested on the scene, have since been appearing before Balaka First Grade Magistrate’s Court.
Chiponya is aged 34 and is from Chinamwali Village, T/A Kuntumanje, Zomba whereas Chidothi is 38 years old and hails from Nkando Village, T/A Juma in Mulanje District.
The three suspects are answering charges of attempted theft and malicious damage, which can attract a five-year jail term, according to the Penal Code.
Last month, ESCOM Public Relations Manager Innocent Chitosi confirmed that the vehicle the suspects used picked two other people from Blantyre and another one in Balaka.
Chitosi urged the general public across the country to emulate members of the community at Khwisa in being vigilant in protecting ESCOM property.
There has been a spate of transformer vandalism and theft cases leaving several areas in darkness for long periods.=
The car on the scene of the aborted crime at Khwisa Trading Centre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :