A Kenya Power employee was on Tuesday arraigned in Kibera to take a plea in a case in which he is accused of receiving a bribe of Sh30,000 to reconnect power supply to a customer’s house.
Sospeter Kungu Ngugi, an installation inspector at Kenya Power, was arrested alongside Paul Mwaura Mwangi on April 15 at Nyayo Highrise Estate in Nairobi.
They were released on a bond of Sh100,000 each by Principal Magistrate Philip Mutua and the case will be heard on May 6.
The two were also charged with illegal reconnection of electricity contrary to Section 168 (1) c of the Energy Act 2019 and handling of stolen energy appliance contrary to Section 169 (1) c of the Energy Act 2019.
This comes less than a month after two other Kenya Power employees were arrested and charged in court for obtaining a bribe from a customer in Utawala with a promise to reconnect an illegal 3 phase power line they had disconnected in March.
Between January and April this year, 994 people have been arrested during a crackdown by Kenya power security personnel for illegally tampering with power systems.
Last week Kenya Power Head of Security, Retired General Geoffrey Kigen, said that of the 994 arrested, 17 are staff members who have been colluding with clients, electricians and contractors in facilitating the illegal power connections.
Kigen also said 116 employees have so far been relieved of their duties over involvement in the illegal power connection activities, even as the company seeks to mitigate huge losses.
Kenya Power has heightened security operations across the country to stamp out illegal connections, vandalism and other criminal activities that degrade the quality of power supply to its customers.
The arrest of the two employees comes at a time when the firm has called upon members of the public to report any suspicious activities to the nearest office or police station.
In the last two years, Kenya Power has sacked close to 200 employees for abetting various crimes, including illegal electricity connection and extorting money from customers to offer services.
Last month, Kenya Power Managing Director Benard Ngugi said illegal power connections cost the utility firm Sh9.6 billion yearly in losses, with Nairobi and Kisii leading in the illegalities.
In October last year, the company established a special response team called the Field Enforcement Unit (FEU) that works closely with security agencies to promptly address cases of illegal power connections.