Electricity consumers could soon be relieved of the power tariffs burden as the cost of power is expected to reduce by two thirds of the current tariff.
The government has appointed a 17-member inter ministerial steering committee, to implement a consumer tarrif reduction from an average of Ksh.24 per kilowatt hour to Ksh.16. The team will also streamline the limping Kenya Power company and turn-around the utility firm in six months.
In a Gazette Notice, the President extended the term of the kenya power taskforce and team’s mandate has been modified to include implementation of its recommendation in a report presented to the president.
The new inclusion in the team is Energy Principal Secretary Ret-Gen Major General Gordon Kihalangwa and Nzioka Waita from the Presidential Delivery Unit.
With Kenya Power in doldrums, the government declared the power company a special government project. The steering committee has the task of turning around the organization within six months reporting directly to the president on progress.
The first progress report is expected before the 5th of December 2021. The committee’s brief, also includes overseeing, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of its own report to the president.
The priority being lowering the cost of power in the country that has been ballooning owing to skewed power supply contracts entered between Kenya Power and independent power producers.
Already the government has suspended purchase of power from all independent power producers, some of these agreements said to be opaque and a major contributing factor to the high cost of power.
With the steering committee in place, Kenyans should expect the reduction in cost of power within the first four months according to the taskforce projects.
The taskforce equally recommended for the overhaul of Kenya Power to refit it into a proper commercial entity. And to demystify the shadowy power deals with independent power producers, Kenya Power has been tasked with conducting due diligence and contract management frameworks for such power procurement and monitoring.
Despite the blueprint on transforming Kenya Power, insiders at the taskforce now steering committee remained skeptical. They claim the rot at Kenya Power cannot be overturned in 6 months as it runs deep.
They described it as systemic rot that has seeped through the company’s fabric for decades, too ingrained to be dealt wit in a few months.
Nonetheless, last week Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i in a meeting with the board and management of Kenya Power indicated that the government means business to unshackle the power company from the bondage of cartels that have not only run down the utility firm but also subjected Kenyans to high cost of power.
The meeting resolved that a multi-agency team comprising the DCI, Financial Reporting Center, Assets Recovery Authority among other investigative agencies move in at Stima House to probe the alarming system losses, procurement practices, insider trading, conflict of interest and suspect transactions involving Kenya Power staffers and suppliers.
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