Mathioya conmen in illegal power connection sought by police

Kenya Power personnel work on electricity lines. The company has raised concern over illegal connections. [File, Standard]
Kenya Power has disconnected electricity to 60 homes in Mathioya in a crackdown on illegal connections. 

The power firm said it was unaware of the connections as they were done by conmen demanding between Sh35,000 and Sh60,000.

Murang’a County Commissioner John Elungata said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations was pursuing the culprits behind the scam. 

The scam, The Standard has learnt, has been going on for the past one year and is done by people dressed in Kenya Power uniforms. 

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The scam was unearthed by Kenya Power staff who were carrying out an audit. Twenty homes that had their supply disconnected were in Merere-ini village in Mioro, Njumbi location.

Ms Joyce Hairi, one of the victims in Njumbi, said she took a Sh50,000 loan to have her home connected and had used the electricity for a year.

About a month ago, she said, her supply was disconnected, a pole near her home uprooted and the cables carted away. 

Her neighbour, Monica Kagechi, asked her children to send her Sh40,000 since she did not want to be left out of the electrification programme.

“I asked for support from my children. I do not have any explanation to give them regarding their money,” she said.

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Gone underground

Those affected, she said, were now pursuing the culprit who has since gone underground upon learning their power was disconnected.

In Kigumo location, there are complaints that the locals were being asked to pay Sh4,000 by a contractor to have their homes connected despite having met all the condition set. 

“We have raised the concerns with relevant authorities,” said one of the residents at Karega market. 

Mathioya MP Peter Kimari said he was aware of the illegal connections, saying he was liaising with authorities to organise forums to educate the public on dangers of paying for illegal connections. 

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“The anomalies will be streamlined as Mathioya will benefit from a Sh130 million kitty to facilitate electricity connectivity supported by European Union and other development partners,” said Mr Kimari. 

Murang’a Kenya Power Business Manager James Kiage said details of the culprits had been forwarded to the firm’s investigations department.

He said illegal connections in the past four months had resulted in deaths of four people.

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