Nine Kenya Power Executives on Trial in Scandalous Nationwide Blackout

Nine executives of Kenya Power appeared in court on Wednesday on suspicion of failing to prevent a nationwide blackout last week caused by a grid fault on their company’s transmission lines, court documents have showed.

Several towers supporting a high voltage line collapsed in Kenya Power, resulting in a blackout on Jan. 11. It took several hours for power to be restored.

According to court documents, the nine are suspected of failing to prevent and correct vandalism on the line, causing the towers to collapse and the power outage.

The police asked the court for permission to hold them for 21 days while they investigate. The court, however, granted the police eight days to continue investigating while detaining them.

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Kenya Power is the only electricity distributor in Kenya, which receives its power primarily from Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), the main producer.

A high voltage power line that transmits power to Nairobi from the Olkaria geothermal power plants, located 75 kilometres (45 miles) away, broke in Kenya in May 2020, causing a similar nationwide outage.

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