Take outs from CSs Matiangi, Monica Juma during inauguration of Steering Committee on KPLC

Kenya power reviews insurance policies for employees in fresh reforms

Electricity consumers in Kenya could soon be relieved of the power tariffs burden as the cost of power is expected to reduce by two thirds of the current tariff.

This is after the government appointed a 17-member inter-ministerial steering committee, to implement a consumer tariff reduction from an average of Ksh.24 per kilowatt hour to Ksh.16.

The team is also meant to streamline the limping Kenya Power company and turn-around the utility firm in six months.

In a Gazette Notice, the President extended the term of the Kenya Power task force and team’s mandate has been modified to include implementation of its recommendation in a report presented to the president.

The new inclusion in the team is Energy Principal Secretary Ret-Gen Major General Gordon Kihalangwa and Nzioka Waita from the Presidential Delivery Unit.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi and his counterpart Monica Juma inaugurated the Committee to see power consumption cost is cut down before the set deadline of December 31, 2021.

Here are take outs from the inauguration;

1. KPLC managers ordered to work with the Steering Committee and warned against subverting or frustrating the reforms. Warning follows Taskforce complaints of frustrations from senior managers.

2. Reluctant/defiant managers to be sacked and arrested/prosecuted where actions amount to criminal sabotage

3. Major procurements to be subject to Board approval and availability of funds. No long term and bulk purchases anymore

4. A security team drawn from various agencies established to support the reform team

5.. Taskforce urged to approach exercise ‘with a measure of ruthlessness’ focused on bringing down cost of electricity.

The government declared the power company a special government project and the steering committee has the task of turning around the organization within six months reporting directly to the president on progress.

The first progress report is expected before the 5th of December 2021. The committee’s brief, also includes overseeing, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of its own report to the president.

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  3. Kenya Power downplays auctioning of its transformers

Already the government has suspended purchase of power from all independent power producers, some of these agreements said to be opaque and a major contributing factor to the high cost of power.

With the steering committee in place, Kenyans should expect the reduction in cost of power within the first four months according to the taskforce projects.

Despite the blueprint on transforming Kenya Power, insiders at the taskforce now steering committee remained skeptical. They claim the rot at Kenya Power cannot be overturned in 6 months as it runs deep.

They described it as systemic rot that has seeped through the company’s fabric for decades, too ingrained to be dealt wit in a few months.

Nonetheless, last week Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i in a meeting with the board and management of Kenya Power indicated that the government means business to unshackle the power company from the bondage of cartels that have not only run down the utility firm but also subjected Kenyans to high cost of power.

The meeting resolved that a multi-agency team comprising the DCI, Financial Reporting Center, Assets Recovery Authority among other investigative agencies move in at Stima House to probe the alarming system losses, procurement practices, insider trading, conflict of interest and suspect transactions involving Kenya Power staffers and suppliers.

Additional reporting by Citizen TV

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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