Kisii County Assembly fire was arson, Kenya Power says

Property worth millions of shillings went up in smoke on Friday afternoon after fire razed Kisii County Assembly chambers.

Photo credit: Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya Power Company has dismissed claims by the county leadership that the fire was triggered by an electric fault.
  • The fire broke out as ward reps were meeting the Ombudsman team at Ufanisi Hotel in Kisii.

The mystery around the recent fire at the Kisii County Assembly has deepened after Kenya Power Company said the inferno was caused by arsonists.

The company has further dismissed claims by the county leadership that the fire, which razed down a section of the county premises, was triggered by an electric fault. The company now wants thorough investigations into the incident.

Kenya Power Company's statement came even as some MCAs refuted claims that vital documents were destroyed by the fire.

The fire left MCAs with no chambers to transact house business. The county assembly building also houses the county government offices.

According to Kenya Power's regional manager in charge of South Nyanza, Mr Kennedy Ogalo, preliminary investigations showed that the Friday afternoon fire had nothing to do with any fault from the power supply system.

Mr Ogalo said investigations by the company has revealed systematic interference with their transformer.

Mr Ogalo, who covers Kisii, Nyamira, Migori and Homa Bay counties, said when they received news of the fire incident, the firm’s management immediately deployed technicians to the ground and soon established interference with their transformer.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae and county assembly Speaker David Kombo had earlier on dismissed foul play and stated that no documents were destroyed in the fire.

The county chief also dismissed reports that the fire might have been started by someone whose aim was to destroy important documents related to an ongoing investigation.

The fire lasted several hours as county firemen battled to extinguish it.

Electric fault

Some residents of Kisii town also accused county officials of deliberately starting the fire, claims which have been dismissed by the county assembly leadership.

The power company’s clarification contradicts explanation by county leaders, who blamed the fire on an electric fault.

“Though it was interesting to find the transformer isolated, we are still investigating how exactly that happened. But by the time we got there, already there was no power and we did not attempt to restore it. We went ahead and isolated the power and the meter box,” said Mr Ogalo.

Property worth millions of shillings was destroyed. The fire broke out as ward reps were meeting the Ombudsman team at Ufanisi Hotel in Kisii.

Governor Ongwae had said the incident will be investigated by experts to establish the cause of the fire. 

The governor also commended the firefighters for their quick response.

“We thank God that no injury has been reported. No documents have been burned,” he said.