How 2 Boda Boda Riders Saved Nairobi From Citywide Blackout

  • An image of boda boda riders
    Boda Boda operators wait for customers at a stage.
    Capital Group
  • An act of courage by two boda boda operators saved Nairobi residents from a citywide power blackout that would have had an immense effect on their operations.

    The two riders were just running their daily errands in the city when a herder alerted them of suspicious activities by three men who were digging a manhole at one of the nerve centers holding high voltage electricity transmission cables.

    The riders responded to the alert, apprehending two red-handed while their accomplice managed to escape.  

    The boda boda riders then informed the law enforcement officers who recovered pieces of copper cables, a mattock and hammer from the scene.

    Kenya Power workers repair a transformer on the Meru-Makutano road on March 28, 2016.
    Kenya Power workers repair a transformer on the Meru-Makutano road on March 28, 2016.
    File

    The two were allegedly damaging manhole covers used to protect high voltage underground copper conductors which are central to electricity transmission in the city and its environs.

    The copper conductors are installed to supply electrical energy from Embakasi's main substation to the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) substation.

    Appearing before Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Bhoke on Tuesday, May 17, the duo was accused of damaging energy infrastructure worth Ksh250,000.

    They were also accused of handling damaged energy infrastructure materials contrary to Section 169 of the Energy Act of 2019.

    They were further accused of dishonestly retaining vandalised energy infrastructure materials without the consent of Kenya Power. They denied the charges.

    The case comes months after President Uhuru Kenyatta warned that persons found culpable of vandalising critical development infrastructure will be charged with treason.

    "We have seen different signboards being taken down, towers of our transmission lines coming down and we have also seen cases of sabotage, as in the case of Naivasha where people have intentionally unbolted some of our transmission lines to create chaos and havoc,” President Kenyatta stated.

    "The law is clear that these are acts of economic sabotage which falls as a treasonable act and the law is clear as to how you deal with treasonable acts and people who plunge the country into chaos for their own selfish needs."

    The orders followed an incident of vandalism in Nairobi that caused a countrywide power blackout

    Kenya Power staff working on electricity lines at Soysambu Conservancy on February 22, 2021
    Kenya Power staff working on electricity lines at Soysambu Conservancy on February 22, 2021
    File