Why you will be unable to purchase prepaid tokens on Friday night
Kenyans will, from Friday 31 night, be unable to buy prepaid tokens after the Kenya Power and Lighting Company announced that the service would be unavailable for 13 hours.
In a statement on Thursday, Kenya Power said system maintenance would disrupt the service for at least 12 hours from Friday midnight to Saturday 11 am.
“We wish to inform you that we will carry out a system maintenance from Friday 31.03.2023 at midnight to Saturday 1.04.2023 at 11.00 am. As a result, the purchase of prepaid tokens and checking of token details via *977# and myPower App will be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience caused,” the State agency said.
This means that Kenyans should ensure they have enough tokens before the aforementioned timeline to avoid inconveniences.
Last year, the state firm terminated all contracts with service providers in purchasing tokens.
The Utility company said that the prepaid tokens purchase and postpaid bill payments would only be made through their authorized channels.
Kenya Power cautioned customers against using any other platforms to make payments.
The lock-out affected several businesses that had emerged as prepaid electricity token vendors.
Among them included digital companies, which Kenya Power allowed to sell tokens to consumers via their own platforms and several small businesses which offered the service in highly-populated residential areas.
The State-owned power utility said it was banking on the use of its internal payment channels by prepaid customers to curb fraud and protect revenues given that banks and other third parties earned commissions for the purchases under the previous contracts.
This is the second time in three years that the State power utility has banned third parties from purchasing for customers amid the rise in fraudulent deals.
In 2019, Kenya Power stopped third parties from buying tokens for customers, prompting protests from the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek).
Cofek had said that it was wrong for the State-owned power utility to punish vendors due to the criminal activities of a few individuals who should have been individually held liable.