Kenya's private alliance raises concern over power company mismanagement

Friday September 17 2021
Kenya Private Sector Alliance chief executive Carole Kariuki

Kenya Private Sector Alliance chief executive Carole Kariuki during a past event. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |


The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) has raised concern over the mismanagement of and poor governance at the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (Kplc), which have contributed to significant increase in the cost of doing business in Kenya.

The apex body that represents business players in the private sector in Kenya noted that the cost of electricity has gone up by over 70 percent in the last decade. According to Kepsa, this has affected Kenya’s place in the business world, lowered its competitiveness and overburdened the ordinary Kenyans.

“Kepsa is calling upon the management of Kenya Power and Lighting Company to restore order, efficiency accountability, and proper governance in the company. We are also engaging stakeholders from the Ministry of Energy with the aim of coming up with solutions to the inefficiencies and challenges currently facing the company,” the statement issued by Kepsa read in part.

Kepsa has asked the Board of Directors at the Kenya Power, led by their chairperson Vivienne Yeda, to consider implementing the company’s turnaround strategy, which include restructuring its debt programme. This will afford the electricity company some financial breathing room to enable it to undertake essential capital investments and operational efficiencies.

“We cannot evade the responsibility of restoring Kenya Power’s fortunes. If we don’t, then any aspirations we have of ranking as a Top 20 company in terms of global competitiveness⎯ of improving our economy and with it opportunities and jobs, and our people’s livelihoods will remain dreams,” warned Kepsa.


Additionally, Kepsa said there is need to enhance customer experience and also encourage employee performance through recognition and remuneration to end institution’s misfortunes.

In July 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed the Taskforce on Parastatal Reforms and mandated it to conclude policy reviews with the aim of addressing the many challenges ailing our public service entities, while achieving government policy towards the attainment of the Vision 2030 goals.

The taskforce was also mandated to establish ways to strengthen public utilities’ roles in providing and supporting essential social services concurrently with achieving their strategic commercial objectives.

This week, Kenya Power published a tender inviting interested and qualified firms to apply for contracts that will last for two years.

The company is seeking to hire four debt collectors this year in the latest bid to tame defaulters withholding billions of shillings.

Kenya Power is reviewing its $6.59 billion commercial debt to retire expensive ones through international partners to lift the utility firm from liquidity crunch. The company’s latest disclosures show that the government sees this as a way of saving it from high loan servicing costs that have contributed to the dimmed fortunes of the electricity distribution monopoly.​