•The power distributor denies there is a shortage of pre-paid meters
•Customers have been waiting since July
Hundreds of Kenyans seeking electricity connections have been locked out due to an acute shortage of pre-paid meters currently facing Kenya Power.
The shortage that began in July has been pointed to the procurement process though the power company has moved in fast to deny any crisis.
The move has adversely affected plans by various consumers including public institutions as the crisis enters its third month.
Senior officers from Kenya Power and tens of consumers across the country confirmed the impasse saying that they were in darkness over the shortage.
The company acting MD Engineer Jared Othieno dismissed the allegations terming them as farfetched.
He said that they had enough meters in their warehouses adding that there was no shortage in any part of the country.
“We have enough pre-paid meters in our warehouses and anyone doubting this can visit our offices and confirm,” said Othieno.
According to the MD, in the last year, an extra 440,000 new customers had been connected to the national grid.
Othieno noted that they were committed to meeting the government envisaged universal electricity connection by 2020.
“The government has rolled out countrywide measures to make sure that all parts of the country are connected to electricity and currently we have 7.1 million connected to the national grid,” he said.
But according to one of the officers who declined to be named, they were currently serving customers who applied for electricity connection back in July.
“We have a major backlog in terms of connecting customers to electricity due to the current shortage and currently we are dealing with those customers who applied in July,” said the staff.
The staffer said that they were in darkness over the current crisis adding that they were operating with the little that they got from their stores in the headquarters.
“It’s not a secret that there is a major shortage of pre-paid meters in the country and we are told that the procurement office had some problems in acquiring them,” he said.
One of the affected consumers Joel Mwangi from Nairobi said that he applied for electricity in July and paid for the quotation but he had never been connected.
“I have visited Kenya Power offices over ten times and I have been informed that I have to wait longer as they seek the meters which will first be served to those who applied first,” he said.