Article Image

Blow to Sonko government

Reuben Simiyu
KPLC technicians examine an electrical equipment. [Photo/Nation]

Nairobi county's bid to bar Kenya Power from disconnecting electricity supply at key city institutions over an outstanding debt has been overruled by the court.

City Hall had wanted the court to block the company from disconnecting electricity supply to hospitals and schools under it because of the outstanding debt of over 723 million.

The county owes Kenya power over Sh723,017,002 in unpaid electrical bills.

Justice John Mativo said barring Kenya Power from disconnecting the electricity supply to the said instituitions would amount to stopping a lawful process that would then translate to a violation of the constituition.

Mativo said the county failed to show that it was not supposed  to pay the debt on time and did not offer any evidence to demonstrate that electricity supplier's demand was illegal.

"Upon analysing the material before court and upon considering the argument advanced by both parties, I find the petition has not established any basis for this court to grant any of the orders sought," the judge said.

Governor Sonko had told court that threats by the company to cut power in the county's major facilities would cause the county to suffer big losses.

Former County Secretary Robert Ayisi, in support of the suit, had indicated that the move was in bad faith and that Kenya Power was using a defunct local government law to seek payment whichwas wrong according to him.

Among the facilities indicated in a notice include City Hall Annex, Pumwani Hospital, Mama Lucy Hospital, as well as schools run by the county government, and street lights.

The county had asked the court to declare that it was not a body entitled to pay the outstanding electricity bills.In addition, the county argued that the demand was illegal.

Justice Mativo said the law permits Kenya Power to not demand charges for electricity supply and disconnect supply while dismissing the case.

The judge said the supplier did not commit any illegal act by demanding payment from the county.

"The upshot of this order is that this petition fails in its entirety. It is dismissed with costs," Mativo said.

Do you live in Kibera and would like to receive news updates for free? WhatsApp the word Kibera to 0790870842

Report Story