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Fraud

Audio: How Safaricom plans to loot KPLC through smart meter contract

Safaricom Chief Customer Officer Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge (Left) and CEO Peter Ndegwa.

If thieving Telco firm Safaricom Plc promises to give you something for free, run, if it promises to provide something for cheap, also run.

On 20th September 2021, Githeri Media screamed about a partnership between Safaricom and KPLC for smart meters where the Telco claimed that the new tech will save the struggling utility firm billions of shillings.

What was not said in the well-calculated propaganda is that, first, the smart metre contract has flouted procurement laws by direct tendering.

Secondly, the smart metre contract will run perpetually, which means Safaricom will be given the contract after every 4 years.

The Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers Union (KETAWU) has raised issues with the arrangement.

KETAWU says that KPLC had already started implementing the smart metres with its big clients and that the project was at 85 per cent.

The Union wonders how the new contract was entered into and why it seeks to replace the already installed and brand new smart metres.

KETAWU Secretary General Ernest Nadome calls the agreement a scam.

“This is a scam worthy more than Ksh5B and we would like the matter to be probed to its logical conclusion,” – said Nadome.

Safaricom’s internal wrangles over tenders threaten to knock out the ‘outsider’ CEO Peter Ndegwa

The outspoken union boss also cited powerful and influential individuals in the deep state as the greatest catalysts of corruption.

“I don’t understand why a probe by EACC was aborted following a call from State House, this is a threat to our very Constitutional dispensation,” Nadome added.

Kenya Power has been struggling with billions of losses owed to creditors with the ripple effect being felt by the consumer.

Not the first time

But this is not the first time for top managers at Safaricom to use procurement, ‘for the public good’, to steal billions of shillings.

Safaricom managers pocketed a lot of money in the sh7 billion procurement of CCTV for Nairobi city. Those things became dysfunctional immediately. The assassination of Kikuyu MP George Muchai and the murder of prominent businessman Jacob Juma has never been solved.

Another scandal that has been swept under Safaricom’s dirty carpet is the one involving a firm known as Fibre Space Limited.

Fibre Space Limited was single-sourced to roll out electronic payment in the transport sector.

The project proved to be a white elephant as it collapsed a few weeks after launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It emerged that the tendering for the project didn’t involve a Request for Proposal as is the case with rightfully followed procedures.

The then head of business unit Sylvia Mulinge was implicated in the disappearance of contract documents and payments to Fibre Space Ltd running into Sh0.7 billion.

The latest sham public procurement seems like another avenue to steal public funds aided by good PR machinery Safaricom.

ALSO READ

  1. Safaricom taken to court over copyright Infringement
  2. ScanGroup: The Most Mediocre Ad-Agency In Africa Is Mentioned In Safaricom’s KPMG Corruption Report

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