February 17, 2020

CS Keter lashes out at State over arrests of senior Kenya Power managers

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter has criticised Government’s crackdown on Kenya Power senior managers.

The visibly angry CS used an occasion at Stima Plaza last evening to lash out at State agencies.

CS Keter said that although he supports the fight against graft, the crackdown at the power utility company that netted 19 top managers was in bad faith and a mockery to the rule of natural justice.

The CS said the operation that almost crippled Kenya Power was akin to the 1993 fatal plane crash that killed an entire Zambia national football team.

“It’s such a difficult time for me to talk when we have a team of very competent engineers who are not with us. This is like the time Zambia lost a whole football team. A whole senior management team gone is like losing a whole football team,” he said.

He added: “Sometimes you wish you can be that sacrificial lamb for others to survive; especially the innocent ones. I don’t want to talk about the merits of the case as I know the law will take its cause but at times we have to speak out for the innocent.”

The Energy boss also criticised the police over the manner in which they conducted searches and arrests, wondering why Kenyans who hold esteemed positons were being raided in their houses at midnight.

“Let’s be humane in even arresting people. You can’t go to someone’s house at midnight. Why can’t you call someone and ask them to report to a police station. If its Charles Keter you want and can’t find him on phone, call my security or my wife and I will show up to face the law.”

While unveiling the interim team to continue with operations, Keter said the officials picked will only act for about three months before the board makes any other decision adding that those charged will stand suspended but will not lose their jobs if cleared.

“The board has met from this morning and they have looked around and proposed some names which they have consulted us. The team will be in charge for the next three months,” he said.

The minister also used the opportunity to encourage staff left behind not to be discouraged by the events that led to the arraigning in court of their 19 colleagues.

“Let’s not shy away and let’s make decisions that are good for the country. If KP goes down, the whole energy sector collapses. We want to encourage you to be firm and strong. We also want to encourage shareholders and our donours that as Government we will all offer support to this company to ensure operations are normal.”

Engineer Jared Omondi Otieno was named as acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Those picked alongside Eng Omondi include Peter Waweru Njenga (In charge Street Lighting), Joseph Kathuru (GM, Connectivity), Joyce Achieng Awinja (GM, Supply Chain), Aggrey Chesambul and (GM, Customer Service Regional Co-ordination), David Mwaniki.

Others include; Charles Cheruiyot retained as GG Internal Audit, Titus Makau Kitavi (GM, ICT), David Mnandi (GM, Human Resources and Administration), Elmelder Bore (GM, Corporate Affairs), Thagichu Kiiru (GM, Business Strategy) and Ambrose Lemaoni (GM, Finance).

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