Reprieve for Kenya Power staff as court halts lifestyle audit

Employees were required to declare their business interests and wealth.

In Summary

•Kenya Power had initiated a vetting process that was to have employees declare their wealth.

•This, as the company continues implementing recommendations by the Presidential Task Force on Power Purchase Agreements.

The Kenya Power logo.
The Kenya Power logo.
Image: FILE

Kenya Power employees have received a reprieve after the Labour Court on Friday issued orders temporarily halting lifestyle audits pending the hearing of a case filed by the Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers Union.

Milimani Commercial Court Justice Maureen Onyango issued a conservatory order on Friday, November 19, 2021, restraining the company by itself, its servants, and/or agents, or whomsoever is acting on its behalf from implementing the circular dated November 18, 2021.

KPLC has also been directed to file its response to the application on or before the close of business on December 7, 2021, ahead of the hearing that will be on December 9.

Kenya Power had initiated a vetting process that was to have employees declare their wealth, as the company continues implementing recommendations by the Presidential Task Force on Power Purchase Agreements.

By the close of business next Monday, all staff members were required to submit their personal information, residential address for the last five years, and employment details in a sealed envelope to the head of the vetting team.

They were required to declare stocks, shares, and partnerships including investment groups of which they and their spouses are members. 

Copies of bank statements of the staff and spouse for the last six months including foreign accounts were required, certified copies of mobile money statements for the last six months, machinery, vehicles, and other assets where the officer has a beneficial interest.

The staff will also give full names and ID numbers of immediate family members (spouse, children, dependents, parents, and siblings), business associates, agents, or associations where the officer has a direct and indirect financial or non-financial interest.

The vetting team also wanted the list of known companies and businesses owned or controlled by the staff or controlled by the immediate family members that have had commercial dealings with KPLC.

Staff were also required to list movable and immovable assets they own, partly own or those owned by immediate family members, business associates or agents.

They were to give their Kenya Revenue Authority Income Tax Returns and their companies or businesses for the last three years, club membership and social media accounts.

In the notice dated November 18, issued by the General Manager HR and Administration, Cecilia Kalungu - Uvyu, staff members were also required to list all the liabilities they have.

These include loans, mortgages , chattels, guarantees, school fees and school accounts, cumulative insurance policies and holidays.

"Please note that the above list is not conclusive and that you may be required to present additional information as may be deemed necessary," the HR's office says in the notice. 

The move came two weeks after the company suspended all its 59 procurement and supply chain heads to pave way for a forensic audit to identify areas of possible revenue leakages.

Radical cleanup of power distributor’s procurement and supply chain division and vetting of employees  is one of the recommendations by the task force led by John Ngumi.

The energy ministry is also moving to renegotiate Power Purchase Agreements with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which CS Monica Juma said must be done as part of returning the company to soundness, and reduce the cost of power in the country.