Kenya Power Staff to be Charged With Treason and Sabotage, Over Outage

Kenya Power officials disconnects electricity and dismounted a transformer at Imara Daima estate in Nairobi on Thursday, January 16, 2020 in a crackdown on illegal connections. Hundreds of households has been affected. PHOTO DENNIS ONSONGO

Nine Kenya Power senior managers were Wednesday arraigned before Kahawa chief magistrate court in Kenya. They are accused of committing terrorist acts and sabotage following nationwide blackouts which occurred on January 11.

Following the incident, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an immediate inquiry and action into the said sabotage.

The Police argued that the failure to act on the reports about vandalism to Kenya Power high voltage lines that led to countrywide outage was deliberate and calculated. It has therefore requested for 21 days to enable them conclude their investigations.

The investigating officer Chief Inspector Keith Robert said the management’s failure and inaction led to the breakdown of the four towers. This in turn caused power blackout, disrupting the provision of essential and emergency services in the country.

Energy Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa

Robert argued that the inaction constitutes an act of terror under the definition of “terrorist act”.

Among the suspects arraigned are David Kamau Mutitu, George Kipkoech Korir, Julius Karani Mwaniki, Geoffrey Kipkirui Kigen, Anthony Gathii Njaramba, Martin Musyoki Makasa, Joshua Wasakha Mang’eni, Raphael Ndolo Kimeu and Peter Musyoki Kithusya.

Charges of sabotage contrary to section 343 of the Penal Code and commission of a Terrorism act, contrary to section 4(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, were read to them.

The investigating officer said on December 9 last year, a report about vandalism of tower number 7 belonging to Kenya Power was made by AP officers who were manning the Expressway construction.

A similar report was made to Kenya Power LAN support system and the management failed to take action.

“Due to management failure and inaction, the vandalism was extended to the neighbouring towers subsequently forcing four Kiambere –Nairobi towers number 11, 12, 13 and 14 to collapse on January 11, 2022,” he said.

Detectives said the fallen towers occasioned a countrywide power blackout. The detectives added that this led to many Kenyans suffering untold hardship, and incalculable losses to their businesses including crucial services needed by citizens.

“The systemic sabotage and likely commission of terrorism act could have resulted in a calamity, mass deaths and massive destruction of property and uncountable losses given the high voltage electric current that is conveyed by the said power line,” the detective said.

The detectives said due to the bulky nature of the data, digital and electronic gadgets involved, the investigating team comprising digital and electronic cyber forensics experts were yet to comprehensively analyse the digital and electronic gadgets recovered from the suspects workplace.

Kenya Power senior staff arraigned in court over alleged role in the recent nationwide power outage. Credit: CHARLES MATHAI

This would inform on more suitable charges against the suspects which may include serious economic crimes.

Police said six towers along the Olkaria-Kisumu power line were also vandalised in Naivasha on Tuesday. Energy Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa yesterday toured the affected parts.


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