West Pokot County residents have been cautioned against engaging in illegal electricity connections.
Kenya Power has raised concern over what it termed as cartels engaging in illegal electricity connections to unsuspecting customers in the region.
This comes after an incident where several consumers within Lityei area within Kapenguria Municipality saw their power disconnected after KPLC senior officials and staff toured the place.
Speaking to the affected customers accompanied by area Governor John Lonyangapuo who visited the KP office in Makutano North Rift Regional Manager Eng. Kipkemoi Kibias said there are individuals doing illegal power extensions posing a danger to residents.
He warned residents against fraudsters posing as KP staff who have been conning locals by making faulty power connections using stolen metres.
He said they have launched a crackdown on the same and those who will be found culpable will face the full force of the law.
“The illegal connections and extensions being done by some individuals have led to disasters and Kenya Power being blamed. We call upon the public to assist us in tracking down suspects,” he urged.
The regional manager promised to conduct an audit across the county to assess the extent of illegal connections besides replacing faulty transformers so that more households get connected to electricity and reduce public outcry.
“A thief is a thief and we target all people whether inside Kenya Power or outside. Anybody including my own staff found to have been colluding with imposters to swindle innocent residents, occasioning the ongoing disconnection of power to several homes, shall not be spared,” he reiterated.
According to Eng Kipkemoi, protocols dictate that payments for electricity connection should be made at Kenya Power offices and if there is any suspicious activity it should be reported to the nearest Company offices, police and local administration.
“Illegal power lines and connections also pose danger of electrocution to beneficiaries as they are often not constructed as per the required standards,” he said.
He affirmed that the company is committed to quality services through upgrading the primary and sub stations across the region.
Governor Lonyangapuo said that there has been a huge public outcry on frequent power blackouts and disconnections.
“During the visit, we discovered that there are cartels at the County Kenya Power offices at Makutano masquerading as Kenya Power staff who have been receiving payments to facilitate illegal connection of power to many homes,” he said.
Lonyangapuo advised West Pokot residents to shun making power connection payments to individuals instead they should use official Kenya Power accounts and mobile money pay bill numbers.
The affected customers however challenged the KP for disconnecting the power without notice accusing the company for taking long to discover that the power lines were faulty yet they have been paying bills.
By Richard Muhambe