Kenya Power starts staff lifestyle audit

 Kenya Power Company

A Kenya Power employee carries out repairs on Haile Selassie Road, Mombasa.
 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya Power managers have until Monday to provide crucial documents such as M-Pesa statements for the last six months and places they have been on holiday for an ongoing lifestyle audit aimed at curbing fraud at the company.

Cecilia Kalungu-Uvyu, the general manager in charge of Human Resources and Administration, says the mobile money statements of the managers must be provided together with those of their spouses.

The firm has been in the spotlight amid financial haemorrhage largely linked to procurement scandals. For example, a preliminary audit report shows it held about Sh9.8 billion in deadstock—pointing to its messy procurement programmes.

The managers have to provide the details in a sealed envelope to the head of the vetting team.

The State had constituted a vetting cluster team to verify the officers’ wealth, with the audits set to include the main contractors doing business with the firm.

“You are notified to provide information on club membership, social media accounts or handles and list of liabilities, including loans, mortgages, chattels, guarantees, school fees, and school accounts, cumulative insurance policies and holidays" said Ms Kalungu-Uvyu.

Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers' Union (Ketawu) has, however, opposed the move, terming it illegal as they have a court order stopping the exercise.

The High Court in Nairobi last month issued orders suspending the lifestyle audits, pending the hearing of a case filed by Ketawu.

“The court order we got stopped the entire vetting exercise. It wasn’t specific to union members only,” said Mr Ernest Nadome, Ketawu secretary-general, in an interview yesterday.

“Attempts by the company to compel management staff to fill the vetting forms and submit the same latest Monday is a breach of court order. They will be cited guilty of contempt.”

Profitability

The audit is part of the recommendations of a task force appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to look into the woes that saw the company swing to a pre-tax loss of Sh7.04 billion.

Kenya Power has, however, bounced back to profitability in the year to June 2021 on account of growth in revenues. This is attributed to huge demand for electricity and reduced costs. 

The firm reported a net profit of Sh1.49 billion over the financial year, an improvement from a loss of Sh939 million registered in the same period last year.

The task force, which was chaired by Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation boss John Ngumi, recommended that all employees be vetted for integrity, suitability, and requisite qualification.

The team had also called for an overhaul of the procurement department.

The move saw the firm last month suspend 59 members of its procurement staff to pave the way for a forensic audit amid tender fights that saw its top executive resign in August.

Kenya Power said its decision was in line with the recommendation of the presidential task force, which further recommended that the company’s supply chain be reformed.

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