Residents of Kapenguria town and its environs in West Pokot County held a peaceful demonstration as they protested Kenya Power’s inefficiency and poor services offered. Residents who carried twigs and placards with messages condemning the frequent blackouts stormed the Kenya Power and Lighting offices in Kapenguria and camped at the doorsteps. They voiced their displeasure with the two-month power outage in the area.
They accused KPLC of failing to listen to their plea to restore electricity despite their numerous complaints and gave out a five days ultimatum to the company to rectify the mess. They mentioned Kamuino, Tambalal, Tutum, Bendera, Kaplechakor, Murkwijit areas as the most affected. Led by Nominated Member of County assembly Mr. Elijah Kaseuseu and Mnagei ward representative Mr. Benjamin Araule, the residents demanded the transfer of the KPLC area manager Mr. Milimo Amusavu and an officer, Allan Nyamogo, for allegedly colluding with cartels to exploit residents.
Kaseuseu called on the Energy CS Charles Keter to intervene and make changes in the KPLC County staff. “An electricity pole fell at a school gate in Kamol near the road and the pupils’ lives are visibly in danger, but it’s been three weeks but no action has been taken,” he said. They also complained about inflated power bills, “The KPLC staff is colluding with contractors to steal money and the manager defends them. He is the one who gives out contracts,” said Kaseuseu.
Mnagei ward representative Mr. Benjamin Araule said one child recently died after a pole fell and the family hasn’t been compensated. He added that business people are incurring huge losses because of a limited power supply.
However, KPLC County business manager Milimo Amusavi said the residents’ complaints were due to some contractors who had constructed illegal lines and the KPLC moved in to remove the poles. He added that some of the beneficiaries of illegal electricity lines decided to mobilize the residents to demonstrate despite the fact that they work to restore electricity connection without delay.