Probe Kenya Power, Lake Turkana Wind payment


Wind turbines at the Lake Turkana Wind Power project. PHOTO | AFP

The saga of the Sh785 million excess payment that Kenya Power made to Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) reeks of graft and calls for thorough investigations and prosecutions of those involved.

While the money has finally found its way to State offers, the matter should not be allowed to rest without enforcement of accountability.

In one of the most intriguing transactions, the power producer instructed Standard Chartered Bank’s branch in Germany to make the refund to the Central Bank of Kenya’s account in that institution.

But the bank rejected the instruction, flagging the proposed payment as suspicious since the ultimate beneficiaries of the money were not given.

If the excess payment to LTWP was indeed made by Kenya Power, then the electricity distributor should have been the one listed as the recipient of the cash.

The mystery of the identity of the beneficiaries means that this was a potential corrupt payout whose perpetrators ran away, possibly after the scheme leaked out.

We expect that relevant authorities including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission are already working to unravel this scandal and bring those involved to book.

Parliament and the executive must also do their part. Lawmakers must not be satisfied with the executive’s position that it is also in the dark with regard to this suspicious transaction.

National Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia told Parliament that he does not know why Kenya Power and the Ministry of Energy took long to recover the excess payments even after LTWP requested to be furnished with proper documentation to complete the payment.

The Treasury, as the majority shareholder and financier of Kenya Power, is in a position to get to the bottom of this matter and must step up its oversight of the electricity distributor.

Parliament should also call in all parties involved including LTWP to investigate the matter.

It is a shame that a foreign bank played a decisive role in safeguarding Kenya’s public funds as government officials and employees of Kenya Power stood by, abetting a potential major fraud clearly orchestrated by some of them.

Failure to expose and hold accountable those involved in this saga will encourage others intent on robbing taxpayers.