Kenya Power wins Sh732m City Hall bill claim

A Kenya Power technician fixes electricity lines. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A Kenya Power technician fixes electricity lines. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A court has allowed Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC to demand a Sh732 million electricity bill accrued by the Nairobi county government or disconnect power.

High Court judge John Mativo Wednesday ruled that the county, having taken over the running of facilities, also accepted to inherit liabilities.

The former Evans Kidero-led administration moved to court seeking to permanently stop Kenya Power from demanding the arrears arguing that it was incurred by the defunct Nairobi City Council.

They argued that Kenya Power had threatened to disconnect power from facilities such as health centres.

“The respondent (Kenya Power) is legally entitled to demand the payment. Disconnecting power supply in the event of default in paying the accrued bill is a lawful process provided under the law. The court cannot issue an order of prohibition to stop a lawful process,” said Justice Mativo. The affected facilities that the county has identified in its petition include City Hall Annex, Pumwani Hospital, Mama Lucy Hospital, nursery and primary schools run by the county government and street lights. The latest ruling is a sweet victory for Kenya Power which in November last year lost a bid to avoid paying charges for poles and way-leaves in a Sh605.6 million dispute with Nairobi County.

The High Court ruled that Kenya Power should lawfully pay way-leave charges.

The court declined to stop City Hall from demanding such monies from Kenya Power saying that the company did not prove that the law had been violated in seeking the charges.

The dispute arose when Kenya Power received a demand letter from City Hall informing it of intended clamping down of poles and wayleave should the company fail to clear the debt.