MPs order audit on firms collecting Kenya Power prepaid bills
8 months ago, 24 Apr 18:00
Parliament’s Public Investments Committee (PIC) has asked the Auditor-General to conduct a special audit of the system that Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC uses to generate tokens for the prepaid system of paying for electricity.
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, the chairman of the committee, said its members were concerned about reports that companies could be making millions off the system at the expense of ordinary Kenyans.
“One of the issues that we are going to be requesting in the special audit is how this whole thing was tendered, the details of those companies, whether they are qualified to offer those services and the financial services,” said Mr Nassir.
He said that although the matter had not come up in the audit reports that the committee scrutinises as part of its mandate, there was sufficient public concern to warrant a special audit.
The company was scheduled to meet the committee on Tuesday, but asked for the meeting to be postponed to allow the management deal with “other issues”.
Kenya Power enjoys monopoly in the distribution of electricity and has come under the spotlight over the past month because of inflated bills and failures and delays in the generation of tokens for the pre-paid system.
The company has been accused of promoting third party vendors that charge customers more than Kenya Power itself.
Despite attempts to explain how power is charged, it has also faced criticism over apparent inconsistencies in the way the units are charged.
Its critics say it has been marketing third party vendors such as VendIt and Dynamo Digital Company, which charge more for transactions than Kenya Power’s own 888880 M-Pesa paybill number.
“I am also a victim of this,” said Mr Nassir. “I remember one time in my house we got caught up in this anomaly and we had to call some very senior people at KPLC to try and figure out what was happening and by the time it was solved, we had to spend time in the dark,” he added.
Kenya Power CEO Ken Tarus said 85 per cent of tokens are bought through the company’s paybill number, creating a backlog that often takes time to clear.
Over the Easter weekend, however, there were delays, some up to 24 hours. On Monday, the company informed its customers that there would be no token generation between 10 pm Tuesday and 6 am Wednesday morning.
The company said the unexplained increase and inconsistencies in bills arose because of a transition from an old to a new billing system.
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