Rwandan national arrested in Uganda for stealing solar street lights

Rwandan national arrested in Uganda for stealing solar street lights
Rwandan national Alphonse Shirmak after arrest.

Kabale, Uganda | URN | A Rwandan national, identified as Alphonse Shirmak, has been arrested after he was found vandalizing and plucking off a solar street light panel along Jackson Road in Central Division, Kabale municipality.

Shirmak, who is in his 30s, was discovered in the act of vandalizing the solar street light panel near the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Kabale branch around 5 am on Wednesday 10, April 2024 morning, according to Joseph Bakaleke, the Kabale district police commander.

Police officers on night patrol noticed Shirmak plucking off a solar panel from a pole and promptly intervened. Upon realizing that his attempt had been thwarted, Shirmak attempted to flee the scene on a motorcycle, as reported by Elly Maate, the Police Spokesperson for Kigezi region.

Maate further explained that Shirmak is likely to face charges of vandalism and theft once investigations are concluded.

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This incident is part of a larger pattern of vandalism targeting solar panels in Kabale. In recent times, there have been approximately 17 reported cases of vandalism and theft of solar panels installed along various roads in Central, Northern, and Southern Divisions.

The escalation of such incidents prompted Kabale district security authorities to propose taking decisive action against vandals. This recommendation came after the commissioning of a solar street lights project worth 1.9 billion shillings under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program.