Police who were working with Kenya Power have arrested close to 1,000 Kenyans who are suspected to have facilitated illegal power connection.
Speaking at a stakeholders event on Monday, April 19, Kenya Power Security Manager Major Geoffrey Kigen said contractors and electricians were nabbed as the firm seeks to tighten screws to mitigate losses.
The crackdown has also led to the sacking of 116 Kenya Power employees who are said to have colluded with the clients, contractors and electricians.
“The perspective out there is that people who do illegal connections are those who handle power or have technical skills so the assumption is these cannot be anybody else buy Kenya Power staff.
“I want to mention that we have Kenya Power A and B. Kenya Power A comprises employees or people who have been licensed and authorised to handle power but out there we have people with technical know-how such as contractors and electricians,” Kigen stated.
The 994 suspects face hefty fines of Ksh1 million for those found guilty of Illegal connections and electricity theft.
A fine of Ksh5 million awaits suspects found guilty of vandalism, theft, and damage of streetlights and power installations.
System losses incurred by Kenya Power are charged to consumers through their monthly bills or purchase of tokens.
For the year ended June 2020, Kenyans paid a total of Ksh 27 billion to recover system losses.
The losses are categorised into technical, which occurred during transmission and commercial which are caused by tampering, theft, vandalism and illegal connections.
Kenya Power launched a crackdown to mitigate against the losses that have eaten into the power distributor’s revenue for years.
Media reports indicate that Nairobi and Kisii counties are leading in illegal power lines.