KPLC prepaid tokens saga takes new twist

KPLC recently announced a system overhaul after Kenyans were unable to purchase tokens.

Led by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, who is also the chairman of the powerful Public Investments Committee, the MPs said that they are concerned about reports that companies could be making millions off the system at the expense of ordinary Kenyans.

“One of the issues that we are going to be requesting as the special audit is how this whole thing was tendered, look at the details of those companies, whether they are qualified to offer those services and the financial services,” said Mr Nassir.

He said although the matter had not come up in the audit reports that the committee scrutinises as part of its mandate, there was sufficient public concern to warrant a special audit. The company was scheduled to meet the committee yesterday but asked that the meeting be postponed to allow the management to deal with other issues.

Kenya Power enjoys a monopoly in the distribution of electricity and has come under the spotlight in the past one month because of inflated power bills and failures and delays in the generation of tokens for the pre-paid system.

Kenya Power has been accused of promoting third party vendors that charge customers more than the firm itself for purchasing the tokens. Despite attempts to explain how power is charged, the company has also faced criticism over apparent inconsistencies in the way the units are charged.

KPLC has been accused of marketing third party vendors such as VendIt and Dynamo Digital, which charge more for transactions than Kenya Power’s own 888880 M-Pesa paybill number.

“I am also a victim. I remember one time in my house we got caught up in this anomaly and we had to call some very senior people at KPLC to try and figure out what was happening ...” said Mr Nassir.

Kenya Power Chief Executive Ken Tarus said 85 per cent of tokens are bought through the company’s paybill number, creating a backlog that often takes time to clear.

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