Over the last couple of weeks, lawyer Apollo Mboya launched a solo but dogged campaign to expose the biggest theft from ordinary Kenyans by economic gangsters in Kenya’s history. As he has continued to expose this massive scandal bigger than Goldenberg, the threats against his life have also come almost daily.
I have personally been threatened many times for some of the stories I write and one thing I have learnt in due course is that whenever you receive death threats for a story you write, it means the story is true and you hit at the very core of the agents of impunity, the merchants of death, the election thieves, the economic gangsters of our country.
Electricity in Kenya is transmitted and sold by a monopoly firm, Kenya Power. The government controls 50.1% of the utility shares with private investors holding the rest. As at June 2016 the firm had 4.9 million customers consuming upwards of 7.666 billion kilo watt hours of electricity.
KTN NEWS did an investigate piece on this grand theft titled #Hadubini by Hussein Mohammed and #InsideSource by Francis Ontomwa. But on the very day the show was to air two weeks ago and in order to prevent consumers from knowing the truth, the power cartels conspired with Kenya Power Limited and the Energy Ministry to block the investigative show on the biggest scandal in Kenya. KTN NEWS informed viewers without explanation that the show would not be airing. Once again on pain of being taken off air and their journalists arrested and intimidated, they gave in and cancelled the show.
But the truth will not be hidden. And the following is the method to the madness.
As a power consumer you have been buying electricity tokens (units) through the PAYBILL NO: 888880. Suddenly, one day Kenyans woke up to Kenya Power telling their customers (Kenyans) and I quote:
‘If you are using MPESA to pay for electricity or buy tokens, go to Lipa na MPESA Paybill. Enter 888880 as business no, enter 11 digit meter number, enter the amount, enter pin and press OK. Kindly note, alternative business numbers are 501200 Vendit or 800904 Dynamo system’
Now they no longer promote their own Paybill 888880.
Why is Kenya Power sabotaging their own Paybill number and directing consumers to use third party vendors unknown to Kenyans to enrich cartels? To make sure the cartels got their share of the loot, Kenya Power made sure their own customer care number never worked and those who wanted to make payment through the company’s official Paybill 888880 never went through. Kenyans are now forced to pay the cartels, who take their cut then remit the balance to Kenya Power.
And this is what happens.
Vendit Ltd & Dynamo Systems are now the conduit for Power cartels. The two private companies, which are totally unknown to Kenyans with PAYBILL numbers 501200 and 800904 are charging Kshs. 83 per transaction of electricity replacing Kenya Power’s PAYBILL Number 888880 charging Kshs.55 per unit and which they have ensured is currently not working so you pay through the cartels. It therefore means the cartels are pocketing a cool Kshs. 28 for every transaction you make. Assuming there are one million transactions in a day, it therefore means somebody is pocketing Kshs. 28 million per day without doing anything. In 30 days they pocket 840,000,000 without sweat, a service KPLC can comfortably do.
The second level of rip-off comes when you purchase the token. After deducting kshs. 83 from you through the transaction, they steal from you at the second level. You purchase kshs. 500 worth electricity tokens expecting 42 units and end up receiving 22. Where are the other units? Are these two companies further eating into the units of Kenyans? Now this is the motherlode. Let me use very conservative figures. In 2015, Kenya’s total annual consumption of electricity was 7.666 billion kilowatt hours.
I unit of electricity = 1 kwh
This means that Kenyans consumed approximately 638 million kwh monthly and 21 million kwh on a daily basis in 2015. It is more now with increase in the distribution of electricity. If the cartels are ‘eating’ only Kshs.10 from the units you purchase, it means the cartels are making 210,000,000 million (210 million) daily and kshs. 6 billion monthly.
It has been ascertained that many people in the finance department at Kenya Power are in the payroll of Vendit Ltd to ensure the system built in collaboration with Itron is the only one in operation while the Kenya Power System refuses perpetually to work by design. Kenya Power itself has been shielding Ceven Limited who have conned vendors of millions of shillings through the Patapawa platform.
How did Kenya Power source for the vendors? Were the contracts competitively sourced? Where was it advertised? Who are the owners of Vendit Limited and Dynamo Systems? Why is Kenya Power carrying marketing campaigns against its own Paybill? Why are individuals who talk about this grand loot of a nation and her citizens threatened with death? Why KTN NEWS was stopped a few hours to the show from airing their investigation into this daily robbery?
The most painful bit of this is that Kenya Power is a monopoly and this is the route used to steal from ordinary Kenyans because they know you have no alternative. It is time consumer organizations and Kenyans rose up to reclaim their country from these economic gangsters.
And I will tell you one thing that is for sure. Nobody can steal such colossal sums of money in an African country without the knowledge of the president.
Energy Minister Charles Keter and Kenya Power MD Ken Tarus should resign forthwith in public interest and face our courts because by these acts of omission and commission they are in effect violently robbing from the home of each and every Kenyan.
This is the most corrupt government in Kenya’s history.
By Eric Ochanji