DCI Goes After 18 KPLC Officials Over Nationwide Blackout

  • A file image of the DCI heaquarters along Kiambu road.
    A file image of the DCI heaquarters along Kiambu road
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  • Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) grilled 18 officials at the Kenya Power Company among them five senior officers over the collapse of four towers in the Nairobi-Kiambere Power transmission line.

    The DCI senior officials grilled by the DCI were: the Acting General Manager, Network Management, Chief Engineer Transmission countrywide, Countrywide Management Security Service Unit, the chief security officer Nairobi Region and a technician.

    According to the team of investigators drawn from the Serious Crime Unit, Crime Scene Investigators and Forensic Photographic Investigators who visited the scene of the collapsed line, the basement of the angle towers of the Kenya Power high voltage power lines had been vandalized.

    The investigators also found that the cross beams had been removed and unbolted a scenario that had the angle towers caving in.

    Kenya Power Building in Nairobi CBD
    Kenya Power Building in Nairobi CBD.
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    "Since the angle towers had been vandalized, they could not support the weight of the conductors which are very heavy as well as the tower itself," the DCI statement read.

    A former high-ranking official at Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has shed light on what caused the recent nationwide blackouts, which resulted in financial losses running into millions of shillings as businesses were disrupted.

    In a TV interview, Eng. Sammy Muita, a former Chief Manager in charge of Energy Transmission at KPLC, stated that most parts of the country were plunged into darkness on Tuesday, January 11, because of the four power towers that collapsed in Imara Daima, Embakasi were part of a double circuit system.

    Asked to explain why some people's power was restored even though the lines were still being repaired, Muita revealed that if one circuit is lost, the system can still be sustained. However, when both are down, it can't.

    "If you lose one circuit, the power swings to the rest of the system and it still holds. That is what is called the n-1 reliability criteria. But if two collapses, you can't sustain the rest of the system because there is no infrastructure that can be built with such redundancy of n-2. 

    "In the same way, if you shut one eye, you can still see with the other one. That is how the system is built," Muita explained.

    In a statement dated Tuesday, January 11, Kenya Power noted that it had lost power supply following the collapse of a tower at the Kiambere - Embakasi power line. 

    Kenya Power has been trending for more than three days with the majority of Kenyans taking to their social media platforms to lament on the power outage that had caused a blackout in some parts of the country. 

    Business that heavily depend on electricity recorded massive losses following the massive power outage.

    KPLC to switch off electricity supply on the 132kV double circuit Lessos-Lanet transmission to give room for ongoing construction.
    KPLC to switch off electricity supply on the 132kV double circuit Lessos-Lanet transmission to give room for ongoing construction.
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