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Three Kenya Power board members resign amid restructuring


Three Kenya Power board members resign amid restructuring

Tuesday May 31 2022

Three board members of the State-owned power distributor Kenya Power have resigned with immediate effect, the company said on Tuesday, the latest to leave amid restructuring at the company.

The trio were part of a new team appointed two years ago to the helm of the Kenya Power board and charged with turnaround efforts at the troubled utility.

Ms Rogo an oil executive was April this year tapped to the board of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) which is also undergoing another turnaround. 

She previously served in a President Uhuru Kenyatta panel picked to review Kenya Power's purchase agreements.

The board exits comes days after Kenya Power appointed a new acting managing director, Geoffrey Waswa Muli, replacing Rosemary Oduor, who has been acting in the same capacity since August 2021.

The firm said mid this month Mr Muli will take over from Ms Oduor immediately as she proceeded on annual leave.

Ms Oduor took over from Bernard Ngugi, who also resigned last year in shock changes at the firm.

READ: Kenya Power's revolving doors: Acting CEO replaced

Mr Ngugi was the fourth CEO in four years to exit the firm amid a boardroom fallout that came months after the court dismissed a petition to remove him over past procurement dealings.

He had come under pressure from the board and shareholders over turnaround plans amid a streak of losses at the utility. He quit barely two years after he was appointed for a three-year term.

Mr Ngugi, who had worked at the firm for over 32 years, took over from Jared Othieno, who had been the acting CEO since July 2018 following the exit of the former chief executive Ken Tarus, who was charged in court with conspiring to commit an economic crime and abuse of office.

Mr Tarus was charged alongside his predecessor, Ben Chumo, and a number of other senior managers of the power distributor. They have denied all the charges.

Kenya Power which is the middle of a turn around is eyeing job cuts as part of efforts to run a lean operation and compensate for revenue losses that followed the January cut in electricity prices by up to 15 percent.

The government is also pushing to renegotiate fixed charges in power contracts the monopoly signed with electricity-generating companies downwards.

Kenya Power's net profit for the six months to December jumped over 27 times to Sh3.81 billion from Sh138 million in a similar period a year earlier on the back of higher electricity sales and lower operating costs. 

Kenya Power is one of the beneficiaries of an Sh86.95 billion State loan tapped from two international lenders in efforts to support the power utility’s turnaround.

Treasury documents tabled in Parliament earlier this month show that Kenya tapped Sh60.29 billion ($520 million) from the International Development Agency (IDA) and Sh26.667 billion ($230 million) from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on March 18.

The Treasury did not, however, disclose the amount Kenya Power will get, saying that the funds will be used to shore up the utility’s finances.

READ: Kenya Power cushioned from making compensations for blackouts

ALSO READ: Kenya Power revamp gets boost in Sh87bn State loan