Court Throws Out Case on Inflated Electricity Bills

  • A customer keys in tokens in a prepaid electric meter
    A customer keys in tokens in a prepaid electric meter.
    File
  • The High Court on Monday, November 2, threw out a petition to revive a case in which the country's energy regulator was accused of  inflating electricity bills.


    In October 2018, a consent order was adopted in court thereby effectively killing the case. Such an order is basically an agreement between two parties that resolves an outstanding dispute.


    However, six petitioners; Wanjeri Nderu, Fredrick Asira, Jerotich Sei, Eva Murua, James Girau, and Vincent Otieno had filed a case in court seeking to have it revived by arguing that their legal counsel had been compromised by the respondent in the hearing.


    In his ruling, Judge Weldon Korir said the claims were not supported by any form of evidence.


    Justice Weldon Korir
    Justice Weldon Korir
    Daily Nation

    "What has been placed before this court is hearsay evidence that cannot form a fair trial basis for holding and finding that the consent order was founded on fraud and collusion," he stated.


    The judge went on to explain that his ruling was based on the fact that there was no evidence to support that the lawyer had actually colluded with the energy regulator. Nor was there evidence showing that he received Ksh60million as the 6 had claimed. 


    The petitioners had applied to court on December 6, 2018, seeking to suspend the consent order.


    "In a heart shattering moment, and flagrant breach of trust bestowed upon him by the people of Kenya, the 1st petitioner chose to settled this petition by entering into a consent order dated October 23, 2018," the petition read in part.


    The issue of inexplicable monthly bills has been a thorn in the side of the energy regulator.


    Appearing before the Senate Energy Committee on October 25, 2019,  Energy CAS Simon Kachapin, Acting General Manager Business Strategy Thagichu Kiiru and Customer Service Eng. Aggrey Machasio could not give reasons for the inflated billings.


    Committee Chairman Ephraim Maina questioned how a person living in a one-bedroom house could receive a Ksh1,000 bill in one month, before it somehow rose to Ksh12,000 the next month.


    “Why should this happen when this customer could probably just be using electricity for lighting and powering the radio?” the legislator asked during the hearings.


    Over the years, Kenyans have had to come up with ingenious ways to reduce their monthly electricity bills.


    Kenya Power workers repair a transformer on the Meru-Makutano road on March 28, 2016.
    Kenya Power workers repair a transformer on the Meru-Makutano road on March 28, 2016.
    Daily Nation