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Kenya Power disconnects power supply to City Hall

By Collins Omulo December 2nd, 2021 2 min read

City Hall has again been plunged into darkness after Kenya Power disconnected the electricity supply.

The power cut which has affected operations at the County government offices for the past ten days has been occasioned by is over an Sh1.5 billion debt owed to the utility firm.

As a result, the City Hall Annex offices are in darkness while the main City Hall and the County Assembly wing have resorted to using generators.

Kenya County Government Workers Union Nairobi Staff Branch Secretary Festus Ngari said the power cut has paralyzed certain critical services at City Hall forcing several workers not to report to work.

“The physically challenged and elderly staff are at a great disadvantage since they have to use stairs to access their offices as the lifts are not working,” said Mr. Ngari.

In October, City Hall and City Hall Annex suffered the same fate for over a week between October 21 and 28, 2021 with water to taps and flush toilets cut, grounded lifts, computers, security, and electrical systems also immobilized.

This is despite the county government paying Sh50 million that month to reduce the arrears owed to the utility firm.

It took the intervention of the national government to have Kenya Power restore electricity to City Hall after the two institutions entered into a payment plan that will result in the Sh1.55 billion debt being paid in full.

City Hall admitted the electricity supply disruption had, in turn, resulted in the interruption of various activities at the county government.

Nairobi Chief Finance Officer Mr Mohamed Sahal has written to the Controller of Budget over the issue requesting for the release of a Sh100 million as a down payment to Kenya Power.

The expenditure, he said, will then be regularised through the supplementary budget for the financial year ending June 30, 2022.

In a letter dated November 30, 2021, Mr Sahal said Kenya Power had issued a notice of Sh1.5 billion on November 9, 2021, at a time when the county government is still in the process of initiating a supplementary budget.

“In the light of the above, we request your consideration and approval of Sh100 million to Kenya Power from the Nairobi County Revenue Fund Account No. 100011863 to Nairobi County Recurrent Account No.1000171502 to facilitate the payment,” reads in part the letter.

Kenya Power and City hall have been at loggerheads over debt arrears since 2014 with the county government claiming Kenya Power also owes it in excess of Sh800 million in wayleave and rent arrears.

The first outage played out in January 2015, when City Hall was plunged into darkness for three days after disconnection by Kenya Power over an outstanding power supply debt inherited from the defunct city council.