EPRA boss Robert Oimeke arrested over Sh200,000 bribery

EPRA Director-General  Robert Pavel Oimeke. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Director-General (DG) Robert Pavel Oimeke is being held at Integrity Centre after he was arrested for soliciting Sh200,000 bribe to approve the opening of a petrol station.

According to a statement by EACC, a filling station in Oyugis had previously been closed after being fined in a case involving possessing super export petrol. After paying Sh309,842 to KRA, and later issuing a clearance letter; the station opted to go through the EPRA DG to get authorisation for reopening.

EPRA intentionally delayed releasing the authorisation prompting the staff from the filling station to visit the regulatory body and initiate communication. They would exchange numbers and conversation would continue over the phone.
On Thursday, December 10, the complainant reported the case to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Later in the day, undercover investigators accompanied the complainant to EPRA headquarters with the demanded Sh200,000.

“After a while, the complainant handed over the Sh200,000 at Mr Oimeke’s office consequently the approval letter was issued to him after the bribe,” read the statement by EACC.

Mr Oimeka has been in office since 2017 with his tenure ending on August 1, 2020. The same month, the High Court blocked the renewal of Oimeka’s tenure—a decision that was being contemplated by the EPRA board and Energy and Petroleum and Mining Ministry.

Through the court case filed by Emmanuel Wanjala through his lawyer Henry Kariuki, the petitioner mentioned that the regulatory body had been experiencing massive losses due to spillages, corruption, installation of faulty meters and the dismissal of employees who faulted the wrongdoing of the management. 

Mr Wanjala also accused the EPRA Director-General of misuse of public funds and called the EACC to investigate his claims.