Kenya Power in crisis meeting as Haji purge leaves the firm headless

Kenya Power CEO Ken Tarus at a past event. (File, Standard)
The Kenya Power board has convened a crisis meeting this morning to pick new officials who will steer the power utility company following indictment of almost the entire senior management team.

Board chairman Mahboub Maalim Mohamed has convened the meeting to be held at Stima Plaza after 10 of the 12 senior managers were indicted following investigations by police.

The board meeting aims at picking individuals, who will be comprised mainly of regional managers not affected by the crackdown on alleged corruption and abuse of office.

“The chairman of the board has called for an early morning meeting. We will make a decision on appointments to ensure operations don’t stall,” Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge who is also a board member told The Standard.

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This came even as the embattled managing director Dr Ken Tarus finally surrendered to police yesterday, becoming the 13th person of the more than 40 individuals being sought over a Sh4.5 billion transformers supply scandal.

Of the 12 senior Kenya Power managers indicted, only Charles Cheruyoit (General Manager, Internal Audit) and Bernard Ngugi (General Manager, Supply Chain) have been spared. Ngugi’s predecessor, John Ombui, was also arrested.

“Whereas it is regrettable, the decision to charge herein will affect most of the Kenya Power top management, this action is however necessary and in public interest in order to combat and deter corrupt activities within the organisation,” the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, said on Saturday while approving the charges.

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The directors of Muwa Trading Company Limited that clinched the Sh4.5 billion deal in 2012 who have been indicted are James Njenga Mungai, Grace Wanjira Mungai and John Anthony Mungai.

Dr Tarus joined his colleagues, who include his predecessor Ben Chumo, Beatrice Meso (General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary) and Peter Mwicigi (General Manager Regional Co-ordination) who are being held at Muthaiga Police Station.

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Also to be charged is the General Manager (GM), Network Management Benson Muriithi, GM Business Strategy Peter Mungai Kinuthia, GM Commercial Services Joshua Mutua and GM Human Resource and Administration, Abubakar Swaleh.

Other executives are ICT boss Samuel Ndirangu, GM Infrastructure Development Stanley Mutwiri, network boss Benson Muriithi and former supply chain boss Ombui.

Their lawyers were allowed access to them, but police refused to grant the suspects free bond.

According to the DPP, Kenya Power terminated a contract issued to Muwa Trading Company in August 3, 2012 when issues arose over ‘massive failure’ of the transformers and delays in delivery.

This prompted Muwa to sue the power company for breach of contract. Investigations revealed that Kenya Power cancelled the contract allegedly on account of poor quality of transformers.

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“But despite this being the clear position of Kenya Power, the suit filed was compromised as the parties recorded the matter as ‘settled’,” the  DPP  said.

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Kenya Powerdpp noordin hajidppben chumoken taruscorruption