By KBC Reporter
A total of 23 people have been arrested in the last one week, largely for engaging in illegal electricity connection.
Kitui and Kikuyu areas recorded the highest number of arrests at 12 while Kisumu and Kakamega were second with seven arrests. Nairobi region recorded two arrests while there were single arrests in Central Kenya and North Rift regions during the period.
“We will continue carrying out a countrywide crackdown on all unauthorized power connections to clean up the network. Those who will be found culpable, including the beneficiaries, will face the full force of the law,” said Kenya Power’s acting manager for security services Major Geoffrey Kigen (Rtd).
He added that customers should make all payments for electricity connection at Kenya Power offices and report any suspicious activity to the nearest Company offices, police and provincial administration.
Illegal power connections often result in loss of funds to beneficiaries once the lines are identified and recovered, thus denying them electricity supply.
In addition, they undermine the quality of power supply as they overload the distribution network, resulting in outages. Illegal lines also pose danger of electrocution to beneficiaries as they are often not constructed as per the required standards.
Among those arrested is a Kenya Power employee attached to the Kitui office, who was nabbed constructing an illegal line at Kabati Township.
Kenya Power is currently implementing the Government-led Last Mile Connectivity Project, which seeks to connect customers at Sh15,000 for single phase meters, to accelerate the country’s rate of access to electricity to 100 per cent by 2020.
Major Kigen warned that criminals have taken advantage of the nationwide electrification project to con the public posing as Kenya Power staff.
He urged people seeking electricity connection to get information about the project from Kenya Power offices around the country to avoid being hoodwinked by fraudsters.
In the last three months, Kenya Power has arrested and prosecuted 113 suspects for various crimes including illegal connections and vandalism.
Some cases are ongoing, while others have been fined up to Sh5 million or a ten year jail term in default of the fine.