MPs demand probe into Kenya Power wastage

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A Kenya Power technician repairs a transformer in Nyeri. MPs have demanded a forensic investigation on how the Kenya Power Company bought faulty transformers and prepaid token meters. Photo credit: Daily nation.

MPs have demanded a forensic investigation on how the Kenya Power Company bought faulty transformers and prepaid token meters.

The National Assembly Public Investments Committee in its report on State Corporations wants the forensic audit done by the Auditor-General, Mr Edward Ouko.

The demand follows a July exposé by the Daily Nation on how Kenya Power procured and fitted hundreds of defective transformers, exposing consumers to dangers of electric faults and high bills.

POOR QUALITY

The transformers had failed the company’s own quality tests; they were of poor build, made of poor quality materials, were leaking oil and losing too much power.

Appearing before the Senate Committee of Energy chaired by Nyeri senator Ephraim Maina last month, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said the government will no longer buy transformers from vendors, but directly from manufacturers.

POWER OUTAGES

The CS said the move will ensure only top quality transformers are bought in order to end persistent power outages caused by substandard equipment.

“Already we have stopped buying from the vendors because of the risks involved. We are now going directly to manufacturers because in the event of any mishap, we’ll know where to go,” Mr Keter told the committee at Parliament Buildings.

PREPAID METERS

Kenya Power was also on the spot early this year following claims of inflated power bills and a glitch in its electronic payment system that made it impossible to top up tokens on prepaid meters.

The firm processes up to 200,000 electronic transactions per day for power users, with 85 per cent done through its Safaricom M-Pesa paybill number 888880.

In Summary
  • Auditor General asked to carry out checks on how firm bought faulty transformers procured.
  • The transformers had failed the company’s own quality tests; they were of poor build.
  • Kenya Power was also on the spot early this year following claims of inflated power bills.