994 people have been apprehended following a crackdown on illegal power connections across the country.
This has been confirmed by the Kenya Power Security Major, Geoffrey Kigen who further revealed that the company is working to tighten loose ends that result in losses.
“The perspective out there is that people who do illegal connections are those who handle power or have technical skills, so the assumption is these cannot be anybody else but Kenya Power staff. I want to mention that we have Kenya Power A and B. Kenya Power A comprises employees or people who have been licensed and authorized to handle power but out there we have people with technical know-how such as contractors and electricians,” Kigen said.
Apparently, the crackdown also facilitated the dismissal of 116 Kenya Power employees, electricians and contractors who were reported to have colluded with their clients to advance their illegal connections.
Last month, the company warned that post-paid electricity consumers with bill arrears will have their power disconnected without further notice.
In a notice published in the dailies, Kenya Power stated that customers whose power is disconnected will have to pay requisite re-connection fees for their accounts to be reinstated.
“The Kenya Power & Lighting Co. PLC (KPLC) hereby gives notice to all its post-paid customers to immediately settle any outstanding electricity bills to avoid their accounts being disconnected. Customers who will not have paid their outstanding bills by the date when the bill is due will have their supply of electricity disconnected immediately,” the notice read.
The company warned against self-reconnection, which it said is an offence that attracts a minimum fine of Sh1 million and/or a jail term of not less than one year.
“All payments should be made exclusively through the Company’s USSD platform *977#, Paybill Number 888888, its banking halls, payment partner agents, or commercial banks listed on the Company’s website,” added the notice.
This comes at a time the company is experiencing tough financial times due to reduced cash inflows.
As of August 2020, Kenya Power was seeking debt collectors to help recover outstanding bills of Sh5 billion from customers who have been disconnected from the grid.
According to a recent report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu, Kenya Power recorded a loss before tax of Sh7.04 billion for the year ended June 30, 2020.
Its liabilities of Sh117.5 billion far outweigh its current assets of Sh42.63 billion by Sh74.85 billion.