Kenya Power dismisses 110 staff in one year over fraud

Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti, Kenya Power Managing Director Benard Ngugi and Cabinet Secretary for Energy Charles Keter (partly hidden on the left), during a crackdown on illegal power connections in Tassia, Embakasi. [James Wanzala/Standard]
Kenya Power has over the last one year laid off 110 employees who were found guilty of aiding fraud, illegal connections and other crimes.

Theft is partly to blame for the firm’s financial woes that saw it report a 71 per cent decline in net profit for the half year to December.

The firm yesterday said its net profit for the six-month period had sunk to Sh693 million from Sh2.45 billion over a similar period in 2018.

Additional energy charges from new power plants and increased transmission costs also ate into its earnings. Finance costs, which were on the rise the previous year and substantially dented profit, went down by 20 per cent.

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The half year numbers came a day after Kenya Power reported a 92 per cent drop in profit for the full year to June 2019 in delayed results attributed to lack of a substantive Auditor General.

“Our immediate focus is to improve business performance through the implementation of various initiatives to grow sales, reduce system losses, enhance revenue collection and manage costs,” said Chief Executive Bernard Ngugi in a statement yesterday.

“These initiatives are part of a wider turnaround strategy and are supported by the company’s drive to improve customer satisfaction.”

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Mr Ngugi, together with Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti, had earlier yesterday cracked down on illegal connections in Tassia estate in Nairobi, where he revealed that the firm had axed 100 employees involved in fraud.

He further warned of more action as the company scales up the fight on crimes that undermine quality power supply.

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The operation was carried out jointly by Kenya Power’s security personnel and police officers. 

“The company will continue to work with security agencies to eliminate illegal power connections and address other crimes that deny Kenyans quality electricity supply,” said Ngugi.

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