Kenya Power gets new boss - Daily Nation

Kenya Power gets new boss

Monday July 16 2018

Charles Keter

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter on Monday named Mr Jared Omondi Othieno as the acting managing director of Kenya Power.

This comes following the prosecution of the company's MD Ken Tarus over irregular supply of transformers.

The board of Kenya Power prepared a fresh list of senior managers to replace dozens of those charged with economic crimes. “This interim team will serve in acting capacity for three months,” Mr Keter said. Mr Othieno previously served as the acting general manager for Street Lighting.

Mr Keter, however, faulted the manner in which the arrests were made. “I call upon my colleagues in the government, let’s be humane in arresting people. Arresting 19 senior managers of a single company is unfortunate," he said.

The arrests had sparked fears of a paralysis of operations at the monopoly power distributor.

Earlier in the day, anxiety had gripped workers even as Kenya Power Chairman Mahboub Maalim sought to assure them through an internal memo of uninterrupted services. He issued yet another statement, assuring the country of stability in service provision amid the purge targeting managers.

The arrested managers including Dr Tarus and his predecessor Ben Chumo yesterday appeared in court to take plea to charges related to supply of transformers in which it is suspected millions of shillings were lost. In the first case, the accused persons denied seven counts.

including conspiracy to commit an economic crime, abuse of office, failure to comply with procurement laws and conspiracy to defeat justice.

The court heard that they led to losses amounting to Sh408 million, at KPLC for procuring substandard transformers. The charges stated that Dr Chumo, Ms Meso, Dr Tarus, Mr Mungai and Abubakar Swaleh and others conspired to commit an economic crime on diverse dates between August 3, 2013 and June 12, 2018 when they procured transformers worth approximately Sh408,533,221 to a company known as M/s Muwa Trading. They further denied abuse of office and failure to comply with procurement laws.

Also in court was Mr James Njenga, a director of the company. The court further the KPLC senior managers aided Muwa Trading company to fraudulently acquire Sh202 million, yet the company supplied substandard transformers.

The KPLC senior managers are alleged to have tried to defeat the cause of justice when they sanctioned a court settlement of case filed by Muwa before the High Court. It is alleged that the management team tried to settle the case out of court leading to the loss of more than Sh200 million.

The decision is meant to ensure operations are not affected at the sole power distributor, which is undertaking multi-billion shilling projects, including connection of more homes to power and network upgrade.