Captured: Kenya’s Electricity Sector on Chokehold

3 mins read

On Thursday, Azimio leader Raila Odinga released a report on the performance of William Ruto administration’s first 100 days in office after taking oath on September 13th 2022.

Dubbed ”Taking 100 Steps Backwards” the report exposes the Kenya Kwanza regime as incompetent and corrupt with allies of the president capturing state parastatals, among them the Kenya Power and Lighting Company. Below is a section of the report on KPLC, and how Ruto allies have captured and converted the country’s electricity sector into their playground:

In October, immediately upon assuming office, the Electricity and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) wrote to Kenya Power directing the utility to immediately submit a power tariff application to the authority. The last time Kenya Power made an electricity tariffs application was under Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration in 2018.

The Ruto administration is set to increase power tariffs The Ruto administration is going to raise power prices in order to get revenues to pay recently commissioned IPPs , including Selenkei and Cedate power stations in Eldoret, Malindi Solar, Kipeto Solar, Olkaria V and Kianthumbi Power.

Prominent businessmen linked to President Ruto are said to have beneficial ownership of these IPPs. Under the IPP model followed by Kenya, every merchant power plant that comes on board brings its own revenue requirements. This means that Kenya Power must apply for a tariff increase whenever a new plant comes into operation.

Since the Ruto administration is signing too many of these IPP agreements within a very short period, the system will witness an unsustainable build-up in payments for unused electricity. The Ruto administration is also raising the power tariffs so as to facilitate the commencement of a Kshs. 5 billion procurement project at the Kenya Power company.

Hardly a week after Ruto was declared as president-elect and even as the country was waiting for the outcome of the presidential election petition, renowned allies of the new president were on Twitter warning Kenya Power against proceeding with awarding contracts for supply of metres, transformers and poles to specific companies.

Kenya Power is clearly going to be one of the centre stages for fresh power games between greedy elites. Top members of the Ruto administration and political and financial allies of the new president own a concrete pole treatment plants and are big supplier of electricity poles and of metres and transformers.

The current tariff that reduced the 2018 tariff level by 15 per cent was approved EPRA on January 7, 2022, in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Review of IPP Power Purchase Agreements. The lower tariff is to lapse by December 2022.

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