Malawi Police on Thursday arrested Mike Nyirongo who they suspect of leading ‘Escom 2’, a group that authorities allege illegally connects houses to the national power grid, especially in the Central Region.
The arrest follows last month’s Weekend Nation expose’ of the group’s activities and how the police allegedly handled Nyirongo with kid gloves—arresting him several times and then releasing him on bail whose conditions he blatantly ignored.
Police say Nyirongo has been on the run for several months after they collaborated with the legally constituted Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to nab him.
Detectives from Kawale Police Station arrested the suspect at his Area 36 house in Lilongwe.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Jimmy Gama, who is also Kawale Police Station officer-in-charge, on Friday said Nyirongo is implicated in more than 25 cases of illegal electricity connections and armed robbery.
“I am probably the happiest officer-in-charge in Malawi right now having arrested this man who has been causing problems not only to the affected households, but the entire nation. He was illegally connecting electricity all over the Central Region.
“At one time, he was arrested, but was released on bail. From there, it was very difficult to find him again,” said Gama.
He said Nyirongo was kept updated by his informants on police moves to arrest him. Gama said they will take him to court soon after consolidating his case files.
From the 25 cases of illegal power connections, Nyirongo is suspected to have collected over K2.3 million (about $6 571) from people desperate to access Escom electricity.
Weekend Nation investigations found that Nyirongo and his group were allegedly conniving with some Escom officials to succeed in their deals as they used Escom branded vehicles, uniforms and official documents when carrying out their operations.
�vr�Ʋ���directly, she is undermining the people who are sitting there,” he said.
7.5�.i�Ʋ���.0in 9.5in 10.0in 10.5in 11.0in 11.5in 12.0in 12.5in 13.0in 13.5in 14.0in 14.5in 15.0in 15.5in 16.0in 16.5in 17.0in 17.5in 18.0in 18.5in 19.0in 19.5in 20.0in; mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none’>Gotani Hara agreed with Kwataine, but said systems to check the malpractice are there but need strengthening.
“We are putting emphasis on drug auditing at all levels and we are seriously looking to arrest the situation, but let me remind the general public that the issue is also their responsibility, there are people who know people who sell government drugs and yet do not report it, we need to collectively move on this one,” said the minister.
She also said a team in her ministry is reviewing the law and policy to upgrade the lenient sentences meted out to people convicted of the crime.