Senior Kenya Power managers were today put to task over the rising cost of electricity in the country.
A meeting called by the National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee on Commercial Affairs and Energy ended acrimoniously, with members asking the power utility firm’s officials, who included acting Chief Executive Geoffrey Muli, to leave after failing to give a satisfactory explanation for the escalating power bills.
Committee members had sought to know why Kenyans continue to pay higher rates compared to their counterparts in the East African Community.
The lawmakers were also angered by what they termed the “casual” manner in which the Kenya Power team responded to the financial queries raised by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu amid continued losses by the firm.
“These are not answers,” the committee chairman David Pkosing told the officials.
“Remember you are writing to Parliament, you are not writing an essay in a classroom. It must be practical.”
National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi accused the utility company of economic sabotage.
“If it were in some jurisdictions such as in the communist world, such fellas would be rounded up taken to Uhuru Park and executed,” Mr Wandayi said, urging the committee chairman to “tell them to go back, and give them a specific date to come back with specific answers.”
Muli’s attempt to downplay the firm’s financial woes by saying turnaround measures currently being implemented had started to pay off did not help matters.
“At the end of 2021, negative working capital dropped to Sh66 billion, and at the end of June 2022, it dropped further to Sh56 billion. What this means is that the initiatives that have been put in place are working. The only challenge may be the way we have structured the report,” he told the committee.
He said the utility firm’s financial woes were not of their own making and can be traced back to between 2014 and 2017 when the company made huge investments in its infrastructure in anticipation of a 5,000-megawatt surge in demand for electricity.
The committee gave the management two weeks to put their house in order and return with satisfactory answers.