Kiambu teacher charged with stealing electricity meter box

Mary Wambui Gitonga at the Milimani Law Courts on September 14, 2023.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti | Nation Media Group

A school teacher has been charged with stealing an electricity meter box valued at Sh5,000 belonging to Kenya Power.

Mary Wambui Gitonga is facing four counts of stealing power equipment, handling stolen property, carrying out electrical work without a licence, allowing another person to carry out electrical installation work without a licence and obstructing Kenya Power workers in the discharge of their duties.

Gitonga was arraigned before Milimani Magistrate Dolphina Alego.

She denied the charges levelled against her by Corporal Nicholas Kangangi, a criminal investigation officer from the Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) attached to the Kenya Power, to break up cartels vandalising KPLC equipment and hogging electricity.

Corporal Kangangi did not oppose the accused's plea to be released on bail, saying she had been out on police bail for several months.

"The accused has been out on a police cash bail of Sh10,000 and I urge this court to release her on similar terms as she is not a flight risk," a defence lawyer prayed to Alego.

A prosecutor, Winnie Moraa, told the magistrate that bail is a fundamental and constitutional right of every suspect and that the accused must be granted the same.

However, Moraa urged the magistrate to consider the nature of the charges when deciding on the bail conditions to be granted to the accused.

In her short ruling, Alego ordered the accused to deposit cash bail of Sh50,000 or to deposit bail in the sum of Sh100,000 with a surety in the same sum.

The magistrate directed the prosecution to provide the accused with copies of witness statements within two weeks.

Gitonga was charged that on different dates between January 1, 2018 and August 17, 2023 at Karura ka Murimo, Kiambaa sub-county, she, together with others not before the court, wilfully stole a prepaid meter box number 251647 valued at Sh5,000.

The accused also faced another charge of handling the said meter box when she knew or ought to have known that it had been stolen or dishonestly assisting in its removal, retention or disposal for the benefit of herself or another person.

The accused also faced a further charge of allowing another person, who was not duly authorised as an electrician or contractor, to interfere with the power supply cable through which electrical energy is supplied without the consent of Kenya Power

Gitonga also denied obstructing two Kenya Power workers, David Wang'ombe and Samuel Njuguna, from accessing the meter box and carrying out an inspection at Karura ka Murimo on August 17, 2023.

Alego fixed the case for mention on 28 September 2023 for further instructions.