President Uhuru Kenyatta has made changes in the Energy Ministry by re-assigning the Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge.
The changes were announced barely hours after he welcomed recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce on Review of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) formed to establish a path towards the reduction of the cost of electricity.
The President directed the Energy CS to immediately secure the implementation of the recommendation of the taskforce that established the reduction of electricity cost by over 33 per cent within four months.
“The consequence of the proposed interventions is that a consumer who previously spent Sh500 per month on electricity shall by 31st December, 2021 pay Sh.330 per month. This cost reduction will be achieved through the reduction of the consumer tariffs from an average of Sh24 per kilowatt hour to Sh16 per kilowatt hour which is about two thirds of the current tariff,” read a statement from the State House.
The recommendations will now be implemented by Amb. Monica Juma who was until yesterday the Defence CS and her new PS Maj Gen (Rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa.
Keter was moved to the Ministry of Devolution from Energy wherelse, Eugene Wamalwa has replaced Juma in the Defence Ministry.
Kihalangwa replaced Dr. Joseph Njoroge who has been moved to State Department for Transport.
Solomon Kitungu has been moved to State Department for Public Works from State Department for Transport.
This comes at a time when the embattled Kenya Power board is under probe by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over interference in the management and tendering process.
The illegal awarding of tender contracts and alleged interference with the management of the utility firm has occasioned massive loss of taxpayers money due to over-pricing of commodities and services supplied, air supply and delivery of faulty items.
Also on the probe is how the board awarded a tender for restructuring the company to a British based firm also consulting for the East African Development Bank (EADB) where the board chair is a Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The National Assembly Energy Committee summoned the board to shed light on a wide range of issues, including the company’s financial performance, reported infighting between the board and management, as well as dealings between the company and Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
However, some of the board members failed to show up for the meeting prompting the committee chairman David Gikaria to adjourn the meeting.
Their summonses come barely a month after the board fired the former CEO Benard Ngugi, barely two years after his appointment.
Before his appointment, Ngugi was the head of the procurement division.
Ngugi had come under pressure from shareholders of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm, government and trade unions over turn around plans amid a streak of losses at the company. Eng Rosemary Oduor was then appointed as the acting CEO with effect from August 4, 2021.