City Hall rules out swapping Sh600 million debt with KPLC
County government says it inherited the debt and should not be asked to pay for it. Attorney says in the spirit of devolution, national government should settle debt
The war pitting City Hall and Kenya Power over huge debts seems to be far from over after the county ruled out swapping the dues.
The county is demanding more than Sh600 million in wayleave and rent arrears for electricity poles.
The electricity supplier, on the other hand, has threatened to disconnect electricity from county facilities over a Sh732 million debt.
Last week, the county obtained a court order blocking the company from disconnecting electricity from its facilities until the case is heard and determined.
This was after the company threatened to disconnect power at City Hall Annex, Pumwani Hospital, Mama Lucy Hospital, public primary and nursery schools, county depots and to turn off street lights.
According to the court papers, the county government said it should not be asked to pay the debt as it inherited it from the former City Council.
The county said the debt should be paid by the national government.
County attorney Gad Awuonda told the Star yesterday that disconnecting power to the facilities would have adverse effects on residents.
“We pay KPLC Sh3 million per day and it would be unfair if they disconnect hospitals, street lights, schools and our offices. People will die, crime rates will go up,” Awuonda said.
He said in the spirit of cooperation and support for devolution, the national government should clear the debt.
Last week, the county threatened to clampdown KPLC’s Stima Plaza. This was after the company disconnected electricity at City Hall. However, power was restored at midnight.
In the past, the city has clamped private premises, including five-star hotels and business centres, over debt.
In October last year, the county blocked entrance to KPLC’s Stima Plaza over a Sh608 million debt.
City Hall, Nairobi, on August 15