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City hall in darkness over Ksh1.5 billion debt owed to Kenya power

City hall in darkness over Ksh1.5 billion debt owed to Kenya power

Nairobi County’s City Hall has been in darkness for ten days now due to Ksh.1.5 billion power bill arrears owed to Kenya Power.

The county government has been relying on an emergency generator to supply power to offices offering essential services, which include the county treasury and the office of the governor.

City Hall was disconnected from the national grid on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

The County Secretary and Head of County Public Service, Dr Jairus Musumba admitted to owing the power company the money but said the county was seeking avenues to an amicable solution.

“Kenya Power is demanding Ksh1.5 from us. The amount has accumulated for many years but we want to negotiate for a payment plan,” said Dr Musumba.

On November 29, 2021 morning, the only reliable generator at the County headquarters failed to function, making the situation even worse.

Power outage at City Hall means the county would fail to achieve the amount it collects in a day at least Ksh.80 million.

“Everything is fine,” said a city hall staff who sort anonymity when reached out for details.

Revenue from land rates payment top the county’s revenue source at approximately Ksh51.3 million collected on a day, followed by revenue from unified single business permits including single business, fire certificate, medical health, food hygiene and signage permits.

This, however, is not the first time City Hall has faced a power cut.

Under the reign of the then Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero in 2015,  power was cut at the County Headquarters for three days.

It is not known the amount that was lost then since the revenue collection system was still manual.

The tussle between City Hall and Kenya Power dates back to 2014 when the County claimed Kenya Power owed it Ksh800 million in wayleave and rent arrears.

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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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