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Kenya

Close to 1,000 people arrested between January and March in Kenya power crackdown

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21-A total of 994 people were arrested between January and March this year, during a crackdown by Kenya power security personnel for illegally tampering with power systems.

Kenya Power Head of Security Retired General Geoffrey Kigen says of the 994 arrested, 17 are staff members who have been colluding with clients, electricians and contractors in facilitating the illegal power connections.

Kigen also reported that 116 employees have so far relieved of their duties over their involvement in the illegal power connection activities, even as the company seeks to mitigate losses.

“Most of the arrests have been in Nairobi and Kisii where these illegal connections are rampant, and this crackdown will continue because apart from losses, these connections also endanger people’s lives,” stated Kigen.

This comes even as Kenya Power continues to record huge losses mainly attributed to illegal power connections, direct connections and faulty and tampered meters.

A recent report by the Auditor General shows that Kenya Power recorded a loss of sh 7.04 billion before tax, for the years ended June 30, 2020.

The company’s liabilities of sh117.5 billion outweigh its current assets of sh42.63 billion.

The company’s sales manager Engineer Margaret Kanini reported that there has been increase in system losses over the years both technical and commercial.

She said currently, technical losses stand at 12.5 percent while commercial losses stand at 12.1 percent, totaling to 24.6 percent against the allowable 19 percent by EPRA.

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Technical losses occur during transmission while commercial losses as a result of tampering, theft, vandalism and illegal connections.

“Over the years Kenya Power has expanded its network and this in turn leads to increase in system losses,” she said.

The engineer however said the company has put in place some measures to curb the energy losses including targeted inspection, prompt replacement of faulty meters, transformer failure prevention and additional transmission lines as well as additional substations.

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