The Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Energy (CAS), Simon Kachapin has put on notice officers in the ministry found engaging in corruption through illegal power connections.
Speaking on Sunday at Kapsangar trading centre along the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties while launching street lights aiming at uniting the two communities, Kachapin said it has come to their notice that some officers were carrying out illegal power connections.
“We have realized that some of the corrupt officers are demanding some money from the public so that they can connect power for them without following the laid down procedures,” said the CAS.
He termed the act as an economic crime under the law, saying those found would face the harsh arm of law and automatically lose their jobs.
“They are cheating Kenyans with illegal connections and we are calling on the public to report such incidents for the actual action to be taken,” he said.
Kachapin pointed out that illegal connections are also the leading cause of unplanned power outages. “The network overloads and trips because it is carrying more users than what it was designed for. Furthermore‚ customers who are not paying for electricity tend to be wasteful in the way they use it,” he said.
“Our programmes are aimed at educating the public about the consequences associated with various forms of infrastructure and electricity theft, including illegal connections, which often lead to electrocutions and fires, economic down-turn, power outages, job losses and a higher cost of living,” he added.
Kachapin said there were individuals busy doing illegal extensions which he said were not properly installed leading to disasters.
“The illegal connections and extensions being done by some individuals have led to disasters and Kenya Power is blamed. We have commenced a crackdown and we call on the public to assist us on this,” he said.
The CAS further warned officers on laxity and inefficiency, saying the aim of the Government is to give the best services in order to win the trust of tax payers.
Kachapin said the government would ensure that all houses and institutions were connected with electricity.
“Electricity is the enabler of the big four agenda. We want to help youths get self-employment. We want to make sure people are connected with power without any problem,” he said.
“Our major concern in the case of illegal connections is that danger posed not only to the people who engage in illegal connections, but also to the rest of their community, particularly children and animals that form part of the environment,” said Kachapin.
By John Saina