Bill seeks Sh1m ine for il­le­gal power use

Pro­posed changes to law also spell out jail terms for of­fend­ers

Business Daily (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - Muthoki Mumo mu­mumo@ke.na­tion­media.com Kenya Power staff dur­ing a crack­down on il­le­gal con­nec­tions in Nyal­enda, Kisumu.

Homes and busi­nesses mak­ing il­le­gal power con­nec­tions and dis­con­nec­tions will pay an in­creased min­i­mum ine of Sh1 mil­lion if pro­posed changes to the law are adopted.

Homes and busi­nesses mak­ing il­le­gal power con­nec­tions and dis­con­nec­tions will pay an in­creased min­i­mum fine of Sh1 mil­lion if pro­posed changes to the law are adopted.

The stiffer fine in­cluded in the En­ergy Bill 2017, which was tabled in Par­lia­ment last week, also spells out a jail term of at least a year for the of­fend­ers.

This is an up­grade of the cur­rent law that has a max­i­mum jail term of one year and capped the fines at Sh1 mil­lion, al­low­ing the courts to im­pose penal­ties of as a lit­tle as Sh50,000 for those in breach.

The Bill, how­ever, re­tains pro­vi­sions that would al­low Kenya Power to dis­con­tinue pro­vi­sion of elec­tric­ity to homes found in con­tra­ven­tion of the law.

“In any case where the per­son who com­mits an of­fence is the con­sumer, the li­censee may also dis­con­tinue the sup­ply of elec­tri­cal en­ergy to the premises of such con­sumer or ab­stain from re­sum­ing such sup­ply,” says the pro­posed Bill.

The elec­tric­ity dis­trib­u­tor has pre­vi­ously said il­le­gal con­nec­tions cost as much as Sh1 bil­lion in rev­enue leak­ages.

An Oc­to­ber 2016 in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Busi­ness Daily re­vealed that Kenyans were be­ing swin­dled out of thou­sands of shillings by con­men mak­ing fake con­nec­tions.

Fol­low­ing the ex­posé, Kenya Power moved to ar­rest at least 60 peo­ple coun­try­wide and brought them to court, mostly on charges of il­le­gal con­nec­tions.

In pun­ish­ing elec­tric­ity dis­con­nec­tions, the law would prob­a­bly hit hard land­lords that have the pen­chant to pun­ish late pay­ment of rent by cut­ting off the power, im­pos­ing il­le­gal black­outs on ten­ants.

The higher penal­ties pro­posed in the Bill will also ap­ply to con­sumers found us­ing elec­tric­ity for pur­poses other than what has been de­clared to Kenya Power — for in­stance, com­mer­cial users mas­querad­ing as res­i­den­tial users.

ONDARI OGEGA

THEFT

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.