Kenya power to seize assets, sue staff with conflict of interest

It has initiated a vetting process for employees and their families.

In Summary

•The company employees, including management are required to declare their business interests and wealth.

•Meanwhile, management is keen to step up revenue protection activities to enhance system efficiency.

Kenya Power will take action against employees and suppliers found to have been involved in conflict of interest between their duties and the company’s business. 

This, as a lifestyle audit, kicks off at the company which will see both staff, spouses, and their families vetted.

It is in line with recommendations by the Presidential Task Force on Power Purchase Agreements, which released its report on September 29, advising on a number of measures to bring down the cost of power and streamline operations at the company.

The firm's Annual General Meeting held last week also saw the board of directors asked to take possible legal action against all persons, employees of the company, suppliers, and any other persons found to have been involved in a conflict of interest.

This is between their duties and the company’s business in cases where their actions have caused loss and damage to the company.

Further, shareholders resolved that the company pursues legal action with a view to undertaking a surcharge against the employees and seizure of the employees’ assets for committing fraudulent and or unlawfully causing loss and or damage to the company.

"That the board of directors, undertake a review of all forensic and other audit reports with a view to undertaking all necessary legal action including recovery of the losses against the assets of the persons found culpable for fraudulent trading with the company," part of the resolutions states.

This includes past senior executives and other senior persons who have served in management in the company.

On Thursday,General Manager HR and Administration, Cecilia Kalungu - Uvyu, issued a notice to staff members with requirements for the vetting.

They include personal and employment information and residential address for the last five years, with a deadline of  Monday (November 22).

The company employees, including management, are required to declare stocks, shares, and partnerships including investment groups of which they and spouses are members. 

Copies of bank statements of the staff and spouse for the last six months including foreign accounts are 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 direct and indirect financial or non-financial interest.

The vetting team also wants 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 are also required to list movable and immovable assets they own, partly own or those owned by immediate family members, business associates or agents.

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

A list of liabilities such as loans, mortgages, chattels, guarantees, school fees and school accounts, cumulative insurance policies, and holidays is required.

"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 comes 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 reducing the cost of power in the country.

Meanwhile, management is keen to step up revenue protection activities to enhance system efficiency by cracking down on illegal connections in partnership with the national government, acting Managing Director Rosemary Oduor said.

The company will deploy the use of data analytics to curb electricity theft by commercial customers, intensify inspections to address meter bypasses, and expedite the replacement of faulty meters.

"In addition, we are increasing smart meter coverage for large power and small commercial customers," Oduor said.

 CS Juma is confident that the cost of electricity will drop by 33 per cent before Christmas, as the government renegotiates power purchase deals.