No, Kenya Power is not stealing from you – it’s just but payback time

Someone knows that you demand some Kshs 50, or Kshs 100, or Kshs 500 so that you can vote for them. He knows there are about 20 million of you that should be given the Kshs 200 on average for the votes, working out to be around Ksh 4 billion. In addition, this guy knows that in the election year, you really would love to spend less on Unga, Electricity, and also be allowed to hawk recklessly in CBD. So this guy talks to Kenya Power not to deduct fuel costs during campaign period. He also goes ahead to get rid of import duty on maize, and agrees that you be allowed to hawk chaotically in CBD.

Then elections are done. You give him the votes. He gets back to office. He realizes he doesn’t have the money to run the government. He demands that you pay back for your greed and corrupt mindedness.

The Kshs 4 billion that was spent to bribe you so that you can attend election campaigns, so that you could come out and vote, came from somewhere, from someone. This lender didn’t give his billions as a good samaritan, but invested in political uncertainty with hopes that he’d recover his billions with huge interests. This lender must be paid back. He is probably the guy who was given free pass to import duty free maize, or a guy who probably diverted some Kenya Power revenues to fund the Mr. Politician, or he is the guy who was promised to build the completely unnecessary brand new dual carriage six lane Mombasa Nairobi highway.

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If he is the guy who diverted Kenya Power revenues to fund the political campaigns, you know that he needs an excuse to fill in the empty cash vault, and what’s sure is that he won’t go to treasury and ask them to give him back the already spent cash. He will instead look at your bill and find a loophole therein to force you to give back that bribe you greedily pocketed. That’s why starting last month, your electricity bills have multiplied by 10 or more.

There are those on social media who are complaining that their Kenya Power bills have increased, not from Kshs 3000 to something reasonable like Kshs 3500, but from Kshs 3000 to Kshs 30,000. Majority however are those who must pay extra Kshs 1,000 to Kshs 5,000 to Kenya Power. One guy says he will have to pay over Kshs 60,000 for a rural electric consumption that he never consumed.

The excuse Kenya Power has given for these outrageous bills is that in most of 2017, the company did not care to deduct fuel costs, although in early 2017 Kenya Power was forced to mostly rely on the expensive diesel generated electricity as a result of the widespread drought the country experienced. These fuel costs surpassed Kshs 10.1 billion, and so far Kenya Power has recovered Kshs 2 billion, leaving the company with some outstanding Kshs 8.1 billion that it needs to recover. “There were delayed fuel cost recoveries for the year ended June 2017 (partial fuel cost recovery) in support of the government’s goal of stabilising electricity costs,” Kenya Power responded to queries by Business Daily.

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It’s not just your electricity bills that will multiply, but your food on the table that has been enjoying the government subsidy will have to rise too. The government subsidy gave you the luxury of spending Kshs 90 only for a 2Kg maize flour, but as December 31st, the subsidy ended forcing Kenyans to start paying more than Kshs 100 on maize flour. Actually, according to this article by The Standard, “Alpha Grain Millers’ Kifaru maize flour was retailing at Sh185 for a two-kilogramme packet”. Take a moment and think about that; with the government subsidy, you were happily paying Kshs 90 per 2Kgs maize flour. But since the government is now broke, it can’t continue giving you free lunch. This means not only will the government let the market forces determine of maize flour prices, but will also  move to recover the free lunches it had given you over the electioneering period. That’s why the price of a 2Kg maize flour has more than doubled within days after the government subsidy ended.

Those two things are just but the tip of the iceberg. You are yet to start paying for the free secondary education. And if you are a woman who voted for Jubilee thanks to the free maternity programme, shock on you. Starting this month, unless you are making a monthly contribution of Kshs 500 to NHIF, you can kiss the free maternity programme bye bye. Remember, with a Kshs 500 NHIF (medical insurance) contribution, the maternity is no longer free but covered by your contribution to the insurance fund.

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Welcome to 2018 greedy Kenyans. I hope 2022 you will be wiser.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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