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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 16 February 2015

Claims suspended KP man uses police to harass whistleblower

Corruption, illegal power connection coupled with metre manipulation have now come to haunt Kenya Power Webuye sub branch.
The revelations come a few weeks after the officer in charge of power connection Eric Abayo was suspended pending investigations into the malpractices. After he was suspended, Abayo is alleged to have paid police all the way from Kisumu  to arrest a Weekly Citizen journalist in Webuye by tricking him into the arms of the police who are said to be under instructions from their senior who is his relative. Now the area residents are appealing to acting Inspector General of Police Samuel Arachi to take stern action on the crooked cops for abuse of office. There is also talk that Abayo has allegedly bragged that he has already paid the magistrate to fix the scribe.
Investigations have established that the vice through illegal power disconnections and manipulation of the metres is deep-rooted and rampant in the entire area but became worse during the tenure of Abayo, alleged the report.
The malpractice is commonly undertaken in established institutions and homes, and it is well planned, coordinated  and executed through internal network of Kenya Power staff, working in cahoots with the personnel Abayo  had  privately contracted to execute the shady deals on his behalf,  said an insider who preferred not to be named due to victimisation.
The vice started rearing its ugly head in 2012 when Mugai Secondary School in Malava a supervisor fraudulently colluded with the former school principal and stopped the metre to allow free supply of electricity to the school whose average monthly consumption amounted to Sh70,000.
Sources privy with the dirty deals revealed that the company must have  incurred a loss amounting to more than Sh1.5 million  through nonpayment as a result of the deliberate stoppage of the metre.
When the current principal George Lukibia took over the school leadership, he discovered the anomaly and sought help from Kenya Power office in Webuye to put the electricity records straight.
After the deal was uncovered, Abayo sent his  technician, one Arusi with instructions to replace the metre.
The action was intended to cover up the fraudulent issue in pretext that the metre was faulty. Arusi declined to replace the metre at the school and he was immediately transferred to Mombasa.
Few days later, Abayo then sent another technician, a Mr Mukaya who found the metre to be active but had just been stopped and decided to take the readings.
But when the bill was raised, a serious misunderstanding erupted between the school management and Abayo. The school insisted that Kenya Power should settle the bill because the illegal disconnection was deliberate and done by the company senior staff, pointing an accusing finger at Abayo. But in what residents say was a desperate move to avert the truth, Abayo embarked on play games and dirty tricks of using the influence of the police officers and Kenya Power security staff from Kisumu to harass the principal, who recorded statements at Webuye Police Station.
The officer later recruited  bogus KP employee Samson Chenge, who did not hide the fact that he is “a KP field surveillance engineer” who went ahead to be harassing residents in KP Webuye branch area of jurisdiction by forcibly inspecting their residential houses and business premises under the pretext that their power connection were carried out by unqualified electricians.
Extensive information obtained by this writer from interviews of disaffected power users in the area in question reveal a damning quagmire for desperate customers who are literally at the mercy of the so- called field surveillance engineer who has more often than not extorted money from unsuspecting customers who are still caught in between reality or ordinary fraud which unfortunately has turned out to be.
Furthermore, there are fresh disturbing revelations that the imposter “engineer” has been hacking into the internet to single out accounts of customers from the region and proceeds to use the same information to intimidate and harass unsuspecting customers about their alleged outstanding payments hence making it to sound like he is indeed an authentic KP field representative.
A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals said that whereas the exploits of the fake KP field surveillance engineer working under Abayo have always raised serious suspicion, most residents in the affected areas have been left guessing because even some respectable public officials have not been spared in the racket that is turning out to be a time bomb in terms of electrification risk as the same engineer is now doubling up as the electrician to those who succumb to his dirty tricks.
The imposter own a house around Makhanga area in Bungoma North subcounty was reportedly wired by himself as it is alleged that he acquired his electrical wiring education from a Technical Training Institution in Eldoret only to return with claims that he is an employee and engineer of KP hired as a field surveillance engineer to oversee the area.
When contacted about the litany of allegations against him, Chenge retorted that he could not confirm or deny the issues raised by this writer but  directed us to Abayo who was his supervisor while area manager a Mr Mutua stated categorically that KP has no field title of employee in the name of field surveillance engineer, let alone one Samson Chenge. Said the KP official in a terse message when contacted: “The said person is not our employee or our agent”.
On the other hand, as the outcry continues, residents have appealed to the KP CEO   Ben Chumo to move with speed and seek to reorganise their business in the affected areas and in order to rid off the area  meted upon them by the  confield engineer. 
Audio recorded information also allegedly disclosed that  Abayo has been using a fraudster who claims to be husband to a resident magistrate based at Webuye Law Courts who brags of being well connected and has urged him to threaten the principal of dire legal consequences should he continue to pursue the matter that threatens his integrity.
Impeccable internal sources indicate that such actions are intended to create fear so that such reports are not officially recorded or pursued to their logical conclusions
The principal and board members of Mugai Secondary later on recorded statement at Webuye Police Station.