Economy

Kenya Power to appeal court order barring lifestyle audit of staff


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Kenya Power technicians replace the wooden posts with the concrete ones along Nyerere Avenue in Mombasa. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

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Summary

  • The utility firm through Mr Oscar Eredi, a state counsel in the office of the Attorney General said it disagrees with the findings of the High Court that was delivered last month.
  • Kenya Power last November instructed all employees to provide personal details to a team formed to undertake an audit on their lifestyles and flag any curious or unexplained wealth.

Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC will appeal a court ruling that has barred it from conducting a lifestyle audit on the firm’s employees.

The utility firm through Mr Oscar Eredi, a state counsel in the office of the Attorney General said it disagrees with the findings of the High Court that was delivered last month.

Kenya Power last November instructed all employees to provide personal details to a team formed to undertake an audit on their lifestyles and flag any curious or unexplained wealth.

The Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers’ Union (Ketawu) moved to court to stop the process, noting that the process was intrusive in asking for details of their spouses, children, and parents as well as their close business associates.

Milimani Commercial Court Justice Maureen Onyango in a ruling delivered on February 28 suspended exercise.

“ Take notice that the respondent herein  being dissatisfied with the judgment of the  Honorable Lady Justice Maurine Onyango delivered on February 28, 2022, at Nairobi intends to appeal to the court of Appeal against the said judgment,’’ said Mr Eredi in a notice of appeal Wednesday.

The court noted that the firm did not consult the employees before it arrived at the process of undertaking the vetting. It further said that the process would violate the rights of third parties who were not required to give consent to Kenya Power staff in making the declaration.

“A permanent injunction is issued against the respondent (Kenya Power) from conducting the planned vetting to persons who are members of the petitioner (Ketawu),” read the ruling in part.

In addition to the details of their families and close associates, employees were asked to submit details of their companies as well as firms run by their next of kin, a list of their assets, including property and cars and six-month bank statements.  

The vetting process followed the recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce on Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

The taskforce was formed last March to look into modalities of how the country can reduce the cost of power. The vetting of employees was among the recommendation by the team.