The government has finally cracked the whip on KPLC after Kenyans complained of rising power bills.
On Thursday, the government cancelled all unconcluded negotiations of power purchase agreements (PPAs) as it takes its first stab at reducing the cost of electricity.
This as part of recommendations by a Presidential appointed task-force on the review of the power purchase agreements between private investors in the energy sector and the State utility firm Kenya Power.
On Thursday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi met with the board of Kenya Power and its senior managers alongside Principal Secretaries in the Ministries of Energy and Treasury to hammer down a new strategy to cut the exorbitant power costs.
“Work has started on how to deal with challenges in this sector with an aim of ensuring that we reduce the cost of power. I am confident that working closely with colleagues, we will achieve the target given,” said CS Matiangi.
At the same time, parties to Thursday’s meeting have agreed to undertake a forensic audit of some of the systems and procedures inside Kenya Power alongside an aggressive review of the electricity billing system.
“Clearly our bills are unsustainable as they are today. We cannot continue this way,” added Matiangi.
KPLC has now been declared a special government project.
Further, an inter-ministerial team has been set up to audit Kenya Power and oversight urgent reforms in the company.
Moreover, a multi-agency team comprising of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Financial Reporting Center (FRC), the Assets Recovery Authority and other investigative agencies has been assembled to investigate alarming system losses at Kenya Power, procurement practices, insider trading, conflict of interests and suspect transactions involving Kenya Power staff.
At the same time, CS Matiangi has assured lower fuel prices in the next maximum pump price review by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) which is set for next Thursday.
This even as the country awaits the outcome of a probe into the runaway cost by the National Assembly with the Finance and National Planning Committee expected to table its recommendations on cutting the fuel costs latest on Wednesday next week.
“The government never makes promises in vain. We have sincerely heard the cry of our fellow citizens and we live and interact with people on a day to day basis,” he said.