Kirehe residents lock horns with EUCL staff over cash-power meter confiscation

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 28 September 2016 saa 10:26
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About 32 residents of Muhamba cell of Gahara sector of Kirehe district have been dismayed by supervisors from Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL) in this district who have removed 25 electricity cash power meters from their houses.

According to the users’ complaints, EUCL supervisors were stopped by the cell executive secretary after removing 25 meter boxes.EUCL staff claimed the electricity line to have been illegally built despite the processes of electricity installation having gone through offices of EUCL.

The 25 cash power meter boxes were removed on 22nd September, 2016 by EUCL supervisors in Kirehe district led by one Rushingabigwi Clement.

Karebu Ngezahimana, the representative of 32 households which got together to raise fund for bringing electricity in Gahara cell explained that electricity was installed by employees working in the office of EUCL in Kirehe district.

He says that EUCL later complained later that employees who installed electricity are not their staff but impersonators. “We went to EUCL office on 15th April, 2016 asking how we can obtain electricity in our cell. They promised us to come and survey. On 20th April, NNtanganzwa Alexis whom we knew to be an employee of EUCL came accompanied by another employee and both built an electricity line, installed cables and we obtained electricity,” he said.

“After receiving electricity, the EUCL employees requested us to pay for the cash power meter boxes on account of EUCL BK/KIREHE 00067117-23. Even people with little money were allowed to pay in installments. It took us more than 6 million without considering other expenses. It is a serious problem disconnect us and take our cash powers meters,” added Ngezahimana.

He explained that the employees would sometimes request citizens to pay through Mobile money other than using EUCL account.

The executive secretary of Gahara sector, Ntambara John has said that the incident happened adding that they are seeking a way of protecting users interests and rights for the mistakes lay in the management of EUCL.

“We have talked to the representative of EUCL in Kirehe. He told us that the electricity channels were made by employees of Intercom Company with which they had agreements to execute some tasks in power installation. He explained that they filed a case with the police to punish those people who installed electricity in the name of EUCL for the agreements with them did not include electricity installation,” he said.

” We wondered why EUCL rushed to remove Cash Powers from the residents’ houses yet the problem lies between them and people with whom they had agreements with. Users would not be able to differentiate a person working for EUCL or not since all transactions were done in EUCL offices and registered cash powers meters after sending payments on its account. It is their mistake and we requested them to solve the matter between themselves and the company with which they had agreements. Our citizens were offended,” added Ntambara.

Rushingabigwi Clement, EUCL Kirehe branch supervisor who ordered and facilitated the removal of cash power meter boxes has said that they committed no offense because they found that the confiscated cash power meter boxes were stolen.

“Two employees of Intercom built a power line and gave out meter boxes yet they were not allowed to do so. We complain that residents received electricity illegally since the electricity channel was not made by us and was badly set,” he said.

Rushingabigwi added that the Intercom Company employees stole cash power meter boxes from Rwamagana district and gave them to Kirehe residents and so EUCL has no other choices but to confiscate them.

Rushingabigwi says they have filed a case with police to investigate impersonators but residents do insist the processes and transactions were all concluded in the EUCL offices.

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One of houses on which 25 cash power meter boxes were removed on 22nd September, 2016 by EUCL supervisors in Kirehe district led by one Rushingabigwi Clement.