The government has disbanded Kenya Power board of management by coercing board members to resign as a new one is being constituted.
According to highly placed sources who spoke to Kahawa Tungu, the board members were asked by President Uhuru Kenyatta to tender their resignation, which they all did.
A new board is expected to be constituted by the end of the month to fill the void left by the outgoing board.
The board consists of the chairman Mr Mahboub Maalim who was appointed in 2018, Mrs Brenda Kokoi, Mr Kairo Thuo, Mr Wilson Mugung’ei, Mr Adil Khawaja, Mrs Beatrice Gathirwa, Eng Isaac Kiva, Zipporah Kering and Imelda Bore.
Those who have resigned include Mr Adil Khawaja, Mr Kairo Thuo, Mr Wilson Kimutai Mugung’ei, Mrs Brenda Kokoi and Zipporah Kering.
In a statement, Kenya Power announced that the board members had resigned, without stating the reasons.
“The Board of Directors of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company PLC hereby announces the resignation of Mr. Adil Khawaja, Mr. Kairo Thuo, Mr. Wilson Kimutai Mugung’ei, Mrs. Brenda Kokoi and Hon. Zipporah Kering as Independent Directors. The Company would like to sincerely thank the Directors for their commitment and dedicated service, and wishes them the best in their future endeavours,” announced Kenya Power.
Kenya Power’s profits after tax fell by 92 per cent from Ksh3.27 billion to Ksh262 million for the year ending June 2019.
The slump was attributed to the rise in non-fuel power purchase costs from Ksh52.795 billion to Ksh70.878 billion.
Profit before tax for the period under review was Ksh334 million as compared to Ksh4.968 billion recorded in a similar period the previous year.
This is despite a growth in revenue by Ksh16.994 billion from Ksh95.435 billion in the previous year to Ksh112.429 billion in the year ending June 2019.
The sole power distributor in the country has bee experiencing allegations of corruption and reducing profits for the last three years,
In February, the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) cancelled a Ksh4 billion Kenya Power Last Mile Connectivity contract, terming it as unlawful.
The project was funded by French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement) for the construction of substations and power lines.
However, local contractors were left out on technicalities, forcing them to launch a complaint with PPARB accusing the sole power distributor of favouring moneyed foreign firms including Chinese contractors.
In July 2018, the then Kenya Power managing director Dr Ken Tarus was unceremoniously ousted over corruption allegations. His arrest and ouster was opposed by the current Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter.
Kenya Power is 50.1% owned by the Government of Kenya and is the sole retail distributor of power in the country.
The company has been on a downward path regarding its profitability, mostly attributed to corruption and poor management.
In 2018, the company issued a profit warning before posting a 63.7 per cent drop in net profit to Ksh1.92 billion, a scenario that was repeated in 2019.
In the 2018, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) was demanding Ksh1 billion in penalties for flouting the 40-day window credit terms.
In June 2019, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) summoned 204 individuals and directors of certain companies to record statements concerning fraudulent Kenya Power billing system for post-paid customers.