September 9, 2013

Top City Lawyer Stings Umeme

A top City lawyer identified as David Mpanga has waged a war against Umeme’s new initiative known as YAKA.

Lawyer David Mpanga
Lawyer David Mpanga

YAKA is a new initiative in Uganda that will see consumers pay for power before use.

Mr. Mpanga maintains that Umeme has no authority to direct consumers to switch from postpaid to prepaid meters.

“I wondered where Umeme, a private company, derived the power to direct me to switch from the postpaid to the prepaid arrangement and where it got the power to direct me to stay at my home all day on a working day,” said Mpanga in his article that he posted on dfkm1970.blogspot.com.

“I looked up the law and was not surprised to find that neither the Electricity Act 1999 nor the regulations of the Primary Grid Code give it such powers.”

Mpanga Further said that many consumers have fallen victims because they have been threatened with disconnection and prosecution.

“Many consumers have been compelled to switch under threats of disconnection and prosecution and have complied out of ignorance. This despite the fact that Umeme knows that it has no legal powers to compel the consumers,” Mpanga maintained his words.

He further said that it’s a disappointment that nobody has been told of the basic fact that Umeme does not have the power to compel anybody to switch to the prepaid plan.

Mpanga wondered why a listed company that is mainly owned by Actis Capital (a subsidiary of the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation), with top notch institutional investors like the International Finance Corporation (a division of the World Bank) and managed by some of the best qualified individuals (judging from the size of their pay cheques) would engage in such unethical and, frankly, illegal behavior.

“It’s because there is a lot of money to be made and Umeme can, and most likely will, get away with the shabby treatment of its ignorant, pliable and captive consumers,” Mpanga roared while  stinging Umeme.

Mpanga’s war against Umeme’s YAKA prepaid meters started when he was summoned to appear at Umeme offices in Kitintale within 48 hours on Tuesday September 2 to explain circumstances for totally refusing YAKA prepaid electricity.

A letter to Mr. Mpaga summoning him to appear the Umeme offices.
A letter to Mr. Mpaga summoning him to appear at the Umeme offices.

The letter further threatened him that if he doesn’t appear in the stipulated duration he will face disconnection or prosecution.

7 thoughts on “Top City Lawyer Stings Umeme

  1. Mr. Mpanga is right, I have heard of so many cases where Ugandans have been hoodwinked into complying with unconstitutional orders. Umeme is not the first to make laws for Ugandans, so many bodies are doing the same and lately the Uganda Police. Uganda is state with a fully functional constitution. Whoever wants to change the rule of law should go to parliament to amend its articles.
    I have said before that Uganda is governed by the jungle law. Anyone can make their own laws.

    1. People should demand for the deposit they paid before they were initially connected to the meter system.I wonder if they are aware and if UMEME is refunding the money.

  2. our learned friend is only facing a cosmetic problem. Meet and interact with the locals aspiring to connect to Umeme and you will be surprised with tales of how individuals pay for a service that will come after six months.

  3. Personally, I have been against this new idea but just because I was ignorant of the law so I thought there was nothing I could do. Am grateful to Mr. David for letting us know our rights.I totally support him for refusing to be forced into this new payment method, actually prepaid billing suits developed countries and I think this will benefit UMEME much more than us.

  4. UMEME are totally thieves. we should switch to solar energy and leave the power for the government. and i wonder why in Uganda power is so expensive and its always on and off but to those countries where we supplies power they enjoys it at no extra coast and its always on 24/7. we need the explanation about that.

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