Court stops lifestyle audit on Kenya Power employees

All employees were to provide personal details to a team formed to undertake an audit on their lifestyles and flag any curious or unexplained wealth. [File, Standard]

The High Court in Nairobi has issued orders temporarily stopping the lifestyle audits on employees of Kenya Power, pending the hearing of a case filed by the Kenya Electrical Trade and Allied Workers Union (Ketawu).

Kenya Power had on Thursday instructed all employees to provide personal details to a team formed to undertake an audit on their lifestyles and flag any curious or unexplained wealth.

The employees had been given up to tomorrow (Monday) to submit details on their wealth and details of their immediate family members. The employees were also required to give details of their companies that have had dealings with Kenya Power.

Milimani Commercial Court Justice Maureen Onyango on Friday suspended the vetting exercise by Kenya Power.

“Pending the hearing of the application inter partes, a conservatory order be and is hereby issued restraining the respondent (Kenya Power) whether by itself, its servants and or agents or whomsoever is acting on its behalf from implementing the circular dated November 18, 2021,” the judge said.

The court also directed Kenya Power to file a response to the application by Ketawu opposing the vetting process by December 7.

Among the details that Kenya Power was seeking from its employees include the residence of the employees and whether they own the residence or are currently renting, identification details of their family members including spouse, children and parents as well as their close business associates.

The staff members were also asked to submit details of their companies and those of their next of kin, a list of their assets including property and cars and six-month bank statements – their own as well as that of their spouse.

“All staff members are hereby notified and urgently required to provide the information listed herein… in sealed envelopes addressed to ‘Head of KPLC Vetting Team’… to be received at the sixth floor boardroom, Stima Plaza, by close of businesses Monday November 22, 2021,” said the memo by the company’s general manager in charge of human resource and administration.

The vetting of employees follows recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce on Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The task force was formed last March to look into modalities of how the country can reduce the cost of power.

Kenya Power last week suspended 59 employees, all senior members of its supply chain and logistics department. This, it said, would pave way for investigation of possible procurement malpractices that have threatened the sustainability of the firm while exposing Kenyans to high power bills.  

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