The Ministry of Energy has launched a countrywide campaign aimed at weeding out illegal electricity connections and curbing theft of electricity. The campaign began in Nairobi and was carried out jointly by the National Police Service and Kenya Power officials.
During the operation in Embakasi Estate, a significant amount of expensive copper wires belonging to Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) were confiscated at a godown. The law enforcement officers claimed that the wires were most likely stolen from KPLC and hidden away for illegal trade.
Apart from addressing theft and vandalism of electricity materials, the operation is also intended to improve the quality of electricity supply in different households. Illegal connections are said to compromise the quality of the electricity supply and pose a risk of electrocution to users.
KPLC has hinted at amending the Energy Act to include more punitive penalties for those found guilty of electricity theft. The operation also seeks to sensitize the public on safety measures when using electricity and promote some of their products.
This crackdown is aimed at boosting Kenya Power’s revenue collection strategies and increasing customer satisfaction. In the past, former President Uhuru Kenyatta had warned that those found vandalizing electricity infrastructure would be charged with treason, as such acts amounted to economic sabotage, bringing the country’s activities to a halt.
To further protect critical infrastructure, President William Ruto has directed the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to gazette the Water Police Unit.