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Nyeri farmer's complaint to Kenya Power goes viral

Richard Ngure's electricity was disconnected to compel his brother to pay a debt of Sh133,000.

Kenya Power employees at work

A poultry farmer from Nyeri County has raised a concern, accusing Kenya Power PLC of disconnecting the electricity supply at his farm, due to his brother’s power bill.

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Taking to social media, Richard Ngure said that he confronted the officials who claimed to be from Kenya Power since he did not have any arrears.

When he sought an explanation, Ngure reported that they told him that his brother owed Sh133,000 to the company.

The farmer added that he was asked to compel his brother to pay the outstanding arrears.

We all have responsibilities and they cannot force me to pay the bill myself. I am at the Kenya Power offices trying to resolve the problem,” said Ngure in a phone conversation with the writer on January 26.

His initial trip to the Kenya Power office in Nyeri County was not fruitful, officials stated that the disconnection was part of new debt recovery measures.

I submitted my complaints to the staff who was a lady. Here is the answer she gave me: 'This is the new law KPLC is using'. I asked the lady whether it is fair for me to suffer or rather to lack power because my brother has a bill yet we don't share the same account,” he said.

The frustration made him write a complaint on the company’s customer service platform which has now gone viral.

A member of staff from the company said that the matter was being handled by the Mt Kenya regional team.

Ngure also added that the power interruption resulted in the death of more than 200 chicks in his brooder; a structure for rearing chicks.

Debt recovery measures in Kenya have raised concerns, particularly regarding digital lenders who are known to use very unconventional methods.

Some mobile loan apps resort to debt-shaming tactics, like calling friends and family, to compel their borrowers to repay the loans.

The tactic has often been seen as contradictory to Kenya’s Data Protection Act, which requires firms to disclose to customers the reasons for collecting and sharing their data.

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