Mboya fight with Kenya Power over bills back in court

Business Daily (Kenya) - - CORPORATE NEWS - Gal­gallo Fayo [email protected]­tion­media.com

Six Kenyans have asked the court to sus­pend an out-of­court set­tle­ment that the Kenya Power signed with Nairobi lawyer Apollo Mboya, ar­gu­ing that the deal did not sort out the main is­sues raised in the case.

The ap­pli­cants claim that they were key in help­ing Mr Mboya build up the case through gath­er­ing of ma­te­ri­als from Kenyans but says they were ‘heart­bro­ken when he set­tled the case in breach of trust be­stowed on him by Kenyans.’

Mr Mboya had filed a suit on be­half of con­sumers, pe­ti­tion­ing against in­flated and back­dated bills the monopoly power dis­trib­u­tor is ac­cused of hav­ing sent to its cus­tomers since late last year. The two how­ever recorded out-of-court set­tle­ment in Oc­to­ber.

“This court be pleased to sus­pend the con­sent or­ders in this pe­ti­tion pend­ing the hear­ing and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the sub­stan­tive is­sues raised by the in­ter­ested par­ties to this pe­ti­tion,” reads one of the or­ders sought by the ap­pli­cants.

They want to be en­joined in the case as in­ter­ested par­ties ar­gu­ing that the case was started as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive suit and they be­lieve their in­ter­ests have not been ad­e­quately ad­dressed.

The six are Jerotich Seii, Eva Mu­tua, James Gi­tau, Wan­jeri Nderu, Fredrick Asira and Vic­tor Otieno.

They claim that they helped Mr Mboya set up an email ac­count through which hun­dreds of elec­tric­ity con­sumers sub­mit­ted their pe­ti­tions, and car­ry­ing out sen­si­ti­sa­tion cam­paigns.

“In a heart shat­ter­ing mo­ment, and fla­grant breach of trust betswoed upon him by the peo­ple of Kenya, the 1st pe­ti­tioner chose to set­tle this pe­ti­tion by en­ter­ing into a con­sent or­der dated Oc­to­ber 23, 2018,” they claim.

As part of the con­sent en­tered by Mr Mboya, ag­grieved cus­tomers were spared dis­con­nec­tion for one month to al­low such cus­tomers file any com­plaints.

The deal also saw Kenya Power com­mit to charge its cus­tom- ers strictly in ac­cor­dance with the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (ERC) – ap­proved tar­iffs. The elec­tric­ity dis­trib­u­tor will also pay Mr Mboya and the Elec­tric­ity Con­sumers So­ci­ety of Kenya any costs in­curred in the suit.

The High Court on Oc­to­ber 22 adopted the con­sent bring­ing to a close one of Kenya’s first Class Ac­tion suits, whose out­come was ex­pected to sig­nal how ag­grieved groups would pur­sue their rights in the courts of law.

Mr Mboya in Jan­uary moved to court and ob­tained or­ders stop­ping Kenya Power from back­dat­ing power bills to re­cover Sh10.1 bil­lion de­layed fuel cost charges.

In Au­gust, the lawyer filed a fresh ap­pli­ca­tion claim­ing that the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion’s July 30 new elec­tric­ity tar­iff struc­ture had in­creased the cost of elec­tric­ity for do­mes­tic con­sumers in favour of mi­nor­ity, bulk power con­sumers.

--FILE

Kenya Power em­ploy­ees at a sub-sta­tion in El­doret town.

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