Kenya Power Explains Why Uhuru-Era Metres Get Fewer Tokens

An image of someone inserting tokens on their gadgets.
A photo of someone inserting KPLC tokens on their gadgets.

Kenya Power on Sunday revealed one of the reasons why some Kenyans receive different amounts of tokens despite paying the same amount of money.

Responding to a question from a disgruntled Kenyan, the electricity firm explained that metres acquired under the last-mile connectivity programme initiated by former President Uhuru Kenyatta are subject to deductions in line with the initial purchase agreement.

“Please explain to me why tokens bought on the same day, 10 minutes apart, for the exact amount of money, do not match,” she asked Kenya Power. 

While breaking down her purchases, she explained that in one metre, she received 127 units for Ksh4,000 while the same amount of money got her 75 units in another metre.

A collage of a token meter displaying the 'connect' error (left) and several meter token (right).
A collage of a token meter displaying the 'connect' (left) and several Customer Interface Units (CIU) of a building (right).
Kenya Power

Responding to the discrepancy, Kenya Power explained that one of the metres was acquired under the last mile project and had a debt.

In her case, the metre had a debt of Ksh8,026 and for every transaction, Kenya Power has been deducting 50 per cent and will continue to do so until the full amount is paid.

The Last Mile Connective Project was Uhuru’s brainchild and was launched in 2014. 

It was launched with the aim of maximising Kenya Power’s 35,000 distribution transformers spread across the country.

At the time, the government announced that existing distribution transformers would be optimised through the extension of low-voltage networks to reach around 1.2 million people residing near the transformers.

Speaking to of the engineers who worked on the last mile project explained that there was a gap in how the project was marketed.

Jacob Nyambu explained that many Kenyans were told they would receive electricity connection for free which was not the case.

“What happened is that the government would connect you to the grid with the standard rates issued by Kenya Power. Instead of paying the amount beforehand, it would be staggered through subsequent token purchases,” he explained.

Nyambu revealed that the standard charges to connect power to a household were between Ksh15,000 and Ksh20,000.

“This depended on your nearness to an electric pole,” he explained.

After being connected, Nyambu explained, that Kenya Power would deduct a certain amount from your token purchase until the full amount was paid. 

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of Last Mile Connectivity Project in May 2015.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the Last Mile Connectivity Project in May 2015.