City Hall power disconnected after Sonko fails to pay Sh990m bill
City Hall’s electricity supply has been disconnected by Kenya Power over a Sh990 million debt.
The power cut forced City Hall and the adjacent City Hall Annexe to resort to generators to maintain operations in the critical areas.
County Secretary Mr Peter Kariuki termed the disconnection ‘an act of bad faith’, saying that the county together with the electricity supplier had formed a joint taskforce to look into the exact level of indebtedness both organizations owe each other.
“Yesterday, June 5, Kenya Power disconnected electricity to City Hall and City Hall Annexe despite a joint taskforce sitting to establish the level of debt between us and was about to conclude its work and make recommendations,” said Mr Kariuki.
He said that a team from the county on Wednesday reached out to the company to find an amicable solution to the matter, but the management insisted that City Hall pays some money first before talks resume and electricity is reconnected.
“We have responded by reminding them of the over Sh800 million they owe us but as a gesture of good faith, we have offered to pay Sh15 million now and the balance in realistic installments until the figure finally agreed upon is settled,” he said.
Mr Kariuki said that of the Sh990 million debt claimed by Kenya Power, the county disputes Sh543 million and only recognizes Sh215 million obtained from actual meter readings.
He expressed reservations with the balance of Sh232 million which he claims are based on estimated readings.
“In short, we have no problem paying what we owe but we only request that the taskforce be given time to reconcile these debts,” he said.
The county secretary said that Kenya Power owes the county more than Sh806 million in money for rates and way leaves for the company’s distribution network, calling for a debt swap between the two organisations to deal with the debt situation.
“On November 3, 2017 the High Court ruled that KPLC was liable to pay us for way leaves for its distribution network and installations. At the time of the case in 2016, the debt claimed by us was Sh605 million but currently it stands at Sh748 million,” he said.
The cut off came barely three weeks after the county lost a court case filed to stop Kenya Power from disconnecting supply to its facilities.
Mr Kariuki said that the county government will appeal the decision by the court ‘because it was largely based on estimated electricity bills and not actual readings’.