Umeme estimates that it loses more than Shs 2bn every month to illegal power connections, a company statement notes.
The company cited Kabalagala – a hub for bars that is popular among foreigners – as the biggest culprit. The Shs 2bn is just part of the financial indicator of the power losses that Umeme has to grapple with, and how big the problem is. Power losses remain above 30%, and are said to be partly responsible for the current shortage of electricity supply. Government is increasingly growing impatient with Umeme’s failure to bring down power losses to below 30%.
On a recent visit to Kabalagala, Umeme officials discovered that almost three out of four power connections in Kabalagala are illegal. The 12 zones of Kabalagala have an estimated population of over 13,000 people during the day, which rises to 20,000 in the evenings because of the entertainment clubs and bars in the area, according to Umeme’s statement.
Umeme has called on all those with illegal connections to stop the act. There are strong penalties for anyone found with illegal connections.