In August 2021, the CEO of KPLC Bernard Ngugi resigned in what later emerged as differences with the board over a Sh1 billion tender.
The chairperson of the board of KPLC is Vivienne Yeda Apopo. Ms Apopo is also the Director General of the East African Development Bank (EADB).
Her appointment at KPLC had come not as a surprise to me since all along KPLC had been a cash cow of the Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime.
Uhuru’s appointment of Ms Apopo was even meant to fail, because even as KPLC needed a good manager, the corrupt lady from EADB was nonetheless appointed.
Her appointment came at a time there’s was massive irregularities over tenders at the firm, and also a widespread public uproar over tampering of electricity bills and such, but Uhuru didn’t care a dint about a safe pair of hands.
In that fateful August 2021, KPLC CEO Bernard Ngugi left abruptly and the new sheriff in town Ms Apopo became somewhat the CEO.
Apopo used her position to convince those that cared to listen and those that raised eyebrows that she care more about the electricity transmission firm and was holding more meetings than was allowed under the law to try revive the firm.
However, there’s something amiss in all that arrangement, a substantive CEO has never been appointed over one year later.
Two, a Ms Rosemary Oduor and Geoffrey Muli have been at the helm in acting capacity so as not to compete Apopo in looting of the firm through procurement.
The Auditor General Nancy Gathungu raised queries about this.
Ms Gathungu in a report auditing Kenya Power’s financials for the year to June 2022 warned the exercise may not have been worth the resources since the company is yet to appoint a new chief executive.
Sources we spoke to said that Apopo wants the hiring of CEO postponed or be in an acting capacity as she rules with an iron fist.
Apopo wants the confusion to continue so as to plan heists, without competition. This is why President William Ruto should do a clean up of KPLC, sack them all, jail some.
“The company procured the consultancy for the provision of executive recruitment services of the managing director to Deloitte Consulting Ltd through a contract signed on January 27, 2022,” said Ms Gathungu in the report that is set to accompany Kenya Power’s annual report for the last financial year.
“The consultant on May 6, indicated that it had concluded the recruitment process and presented the results of screening, final interview and recommended candidates to the chairperson of the board of directors. The contractor was paid the full contract price of Sh2.99 million,” she said.
“However, no documentary evidence including reports of the consultant, evaluation results, recommendation of the consultant and board minutes and resolutions on the matter were provided for audit review.”
The audit report also raised issues with the number of meetings that the board had over the year.
Thirty-three (33) meetings is more than the required six (6). The six meeting requirement is even more than the number stipulated by Mwongozo Act.
Mwongozo is the Code of Governance for State Corporations and the Act states that the board of management should only meet once a quarter.
The tender wars at KPLC has Apopo at the helm, acting like the de facto CEO.
This sacrilege stinks to high heaven as it doesn’t have the public interests at heart.
At one point the donor community threatened to withdraw funding for KPLC due to this. Some actually withdrew and the continued tender wars, even on the face of that, shows that Apopo doesn’t care and is not fit to hold office.
It starts with the lack of appointment of a substantive CEO and the summersaults she does by appointing her own cartel.
One of the tenders she was accused of interfering with was tender number KP1/6E.1/PT/1/21/ A89.
The power transmission line contractors association were challenging the supply and extension of low voltage lines last mile connectivity at the average cost of Sh20 million. Tender documents show that (LOT-A) involved supply and extension of LV single phase lines and service cables in Migori, Bomet, Nyamira, Homa Bay, Kisii and Kericho counties calculated at Sh9.2milllion or USD 83,500,000.
And the supply and extension of LV single phase lines and service cables in Kisumu, Siaya, Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma and Kakamega counties was listed under LOT B at a cost of Sh7.4 million or USD 67,100 but only Sh3,3 million was earmarked for Lot C similar program in Embu, Murang’a, Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.
The power transmission line contractors association demanded for an order annulling the tender document and the entire procurement process just after the closure of the tender. The body also wanted Kenya Power to withdraw the tender notice and re-advertise it through a fresh notice without the supply and extension works.
But Kenya Power’s response proved futile after they filed a memorandum of response on July 5 2021 to object the demands by power transmission line contractors.
History of Mismanagement
Vivienne Yeda Apopo’s mismanagement has not started at KPLC.
Six years ago, a section of staff members at the EADB wanted her sacked for mismanagement.
The whistleblowers noted in the dossier to the board that whereas Ms Apopo has done a good job in recovering loans, her repeated failure and, in some cases, excessive delay in approving viable projects recommended by senior management, have hindered the bank from investing in lucrative ventures.
“We, a group of staff at EADB, write to express our concern over the manner in which the bank is being run under the leadership of Ms Viviene Yeda. We bring to the attention of the concerned parties requesting that her services as director- general at EADB be terminated immediately…,” the petition also copied to Kenya’s Treasury secretary, Mr Kamau Thugge, reads in part.
The delays were occasioned by negotiations for kickbacks.
She is addicted to kickbacks like a Wall Street banker on Cocaine.
The staff accused the chief executive of cherry-picking and making funding available for mainly projects submitted by her home country, Kenya (where it is easier to ask, control and deliver kickbacks), and questioned her motive in allegedly sitting on projects submitted by other countries.
Apopo was even audited and found wanting.
Expecting her turn around KPLC is tantamount to expecting water from squeezing a stone.