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Machakos County verifies electricity metres to prevent fraud

Machakos County Government has conducted a metre audit and verification exercise so as to validate the legitimate electricity metres registered under the county.

The findings of the audit confirmed 383 account metres that were physically verified with a debt of over Sh65 million, while 487 account metres were not verified with a debt of more than 29 million.

The County Executive for Lands, Housing, Urban Development, and Energy, Nathaniel Nganga, said some of the county bills from the Kenya Power Company (KPC) were being incurred by other parties, thus bringing forth high electricity bills.

Speaking at the county land offices in Machakos town, Nganga lamented that “there were institutions that were syphoning power from our metres, and we were being levied for their consumption.”

For instance, he cited a metre that was stolen at the Tala bus park, and though the incident was reported, the metre number is being actively used somewhere else in Machakos County.

He added that there were 19 metre numbers in Mwala constituency with an outstanding bill of Sh2 million that were being used by the local National Government Constituency Fund (NG-CDF), but billed to the county.

Nganga noted that, as a result, they have instructed the power company to disconnect 442 metre numbers that had not been verified during the metre audit, so they can reduce the soaring electricity bills in the county.

“I have written to various government agencies that have taken advantage of our power connections, and we have given them one-month notice to apply for their own power connections, after which we shall disconnect them,” warned Nganga.

At the same time, the County Executive appealed to members of the public to give any vital information on stolen metres because they had realised that many metres had been stolen and were in private use, yet the bills were being marked for the county.

“After stealing the metres, some of them are being used in posho mills and light industries, while others are in private establishments, but we have not been able to find their exact locations,” he said.

Nganga decried that numerous metres were being issued under the name of the county government without prior authorization, warning that anyone applying for power connections for any government project must first get concurrence from the office.

However, he noted that as a county, they have since embraced a cheap and clean energy programme, dubbed Solar Mulika Mwizi, in at least every market per ward.

Nganga said that progressively, they will convert all their flood lights and street lights into solar power so that they can cut down on costs.

By Anne Kangero

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