Twenty percent of power used in Maputo is stolen, electricity company says

29 December 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 29 Dec – Twenty percent of the electricity used in the Mozambican capital is stolen and accounts for monthly losses of over US$400,000, an official from Mozambican state electricity company, EDM said Thursday.

On Christmas Eve a man and his niece were killed by electrocution in a Maputo suburb when the accidentally touched a wire that illegally supplied electricity to a house without a contract with EDM, linked from a house with a legal supply.

Speaking in Maputo about the consequences of illegal supplies, EDM’s distribution director, Jonas Chitsuma, said that as well as human victims, stealing power was also leading to losses for the company.

According to Chitsuma, the problem affects almost all the suburban neighborhoods of the country’s capital and it continues as it is impossible for EDM to detect and dismantle all illegal links.

The system of illegal power links in Mozambican suburbs is carried out by using wires stretched out behind the houses and the people involved pay the bills on every alternate month. (macauhub)