The board of directors of the Kenya Power has sacked Bernard Ngugi barely two years into his term over alleged mismanagement and revenue leakage at the utility firm, The Informer has learnt.
To downplay the unceremonious exit, the board asked him to resign or be sacked forthwith.
“He has been forced out by the board.” An impeccable source intimated.
The board chaired by Vivienne Yeda has appointed Rosemary Oduor to act as MD.
Oduor, an engineer by profession, is the General Manager, Commercial Services and Sales at the power company.
In May this year, The Informer exposed how Kenya Power is losing billions of shillings through stockpile of unprioritised purchases some covering up to 8,050 years.
In what appears to be a well-orchestrated brazen looting spree choreographed as material stock up in an attempt to cover possible trace of theft of taxpayers’ money, the materials have overtime been purchased without financial prudence.
At the time, the sacked MD served as the Manager in charge of Supply Chain and has served at the company for over three decades now.
According to insiders, senior officials at the Ministry of Energy were privy to the dealings that saw colossal amount of money from the public coffers committed to unwanted stock.
The materials are lying unutilised and could soon be declared obsolete.
Additionally, the purchases were made without requisitions by the user departments to a tune of over Sh8billion.
Some of the materials itemised as; Clamp suspension (11kV ABC) bought at Sh14.6million has been quoted at stock cover of 8,050 years.
From the inventory records seen by us, other items booked under material code 174827 were purchased at Sh690million were assigned stock cover of 127 years.
Others mostly cables and conductors were bought at a cost of Sh129million, Sh463million, Sh185million and Sh139million among others.
According to the highly guarded procurement record, ‘bracket steel pole top swer’ under material code 181202 was bought at Sh18, 569,600.00 and assigned a stock cover of 183 years while ‘joint 66KVXLPE 400mm2 AL S/C’ under code material 153416 was purchased for Sh26, 687, 604.79 to cover 35 years.
Concrete fitting U-bolt and nut (20*700M) under code material 186806 assigned stock cover period of 27 years was purchased for Sh18,370,473.70 while ‘Pvc Trunking Type II (Perforated) was bought at a cost of Sh17,552,709.44 for a period of 797 years.
Other scandals that have hit the firm include token theft.
This blatant theft has gone unabated due to absence of a validator module to regulate transactions of prepaid power token purchases and the status quo remains to date.
Our investigations have established existence of system manipulation for both postpaid power bills and prepaid power tokens through collusion between rogue KPLC employees, brokers as well as willing customers who want their bills irregularly reduced.
The masterminds of the multi-million shady deals involve KPLC IT and Finance employees granting unauthorized access and assigning special roles to non- staffers and brokers besides giving rogue non staff members with Virtual Private Network (VPN) to enter KPLC domain and manipulate bills.
In 2018, the then MD Ken Tarus was among several top managers who were suspended and later charged with corruption over a Sh4.5 billion scandal that involved the irregular awarding of tenders for the supply of transformers.
The investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations also touched Tarus’ predecessor Ben Chumo.
The power firm has struggled financially after being hit by scandals that saw a high turnover of top managers. KP reported a net loss of Sh939 million in the year to June 2020, from a profit of Sh262 million the previous year, due to power leakages, declining revenues and adverse effects of Covid-19.
Ngugi leaves the power distributor after more than a 30-years stint and was one of only three top managers who survived 2019’s corruption clean-up.
Jared Otieno acted as MD for less than a year before Ngugi was appointed to the position. Othieno has since joined Geothermal Development Company as MD.
Kenya Power has also been facing a backlash from its customers, with 2018’s complaints of backdated charges and alleged overbilling among consumer issues that the new boss will have to deal with.
It is one of the 18 state corporations that have been identified by the National Treasury for restructuring following a recommendation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The IMF reckons that these companies have been a burden to the taxpayers with the National Treasury always bailing them out, a situation that has denied the public other critical services.