A Nairobi lawyer on Thursday filed a class action suit against Kenya Power, accusing the electricity distributor of abusing its monopoly and dominance.
Mr Apollo Mboya wants the court to issue a declaration that KP has made false or misleading representation with respect to electricity tariffs and bills to its customers, thereby infringing on their consumer rights.
He has also sought a declaration that the monopoly enjoyed by Kenya Power is unconstitutional. He seeks a permanent injunction barring KP from billing or recovering Sh10.1 billion from its customers on alleged backdated bills.
He is also seeking an order that a directive by the President to Kenya Power to provide electricity to manufacturers at 50 per cent discount during the low peak period between 10pm-6am with effect from December 1, 2017 was discriminatory to other customers, hence unconstitutional.
Mr Mboya says in the suit that he started receiving inflated power bills from October 2017. And in December, he received three different bills of Sh9,863.43, Sh2,143.43 and Sh3,929.43. He also got information that several consumers were receiving inflated bills and aired their frustrations on social media platforms.
The lawyer says upon realising that the issue was systemic and widespread, he resolved to seek remedial action for the frustrated customers and consumers by setting up an email account, firstname.lastname@example.org where they could forward their complaints and issues.
“I received over 600 emails with complaints that can be classified into broad categories as follows: overbilling, reduction in units, malfunctioning equipment, quality of electricity, customer care, bill adjustments, unexplained and fluctuating tariffs, standard charges exceeding value of actual electricity and standing amounts deducted from some accounts.”
The lawyer says that “unless the prayers in the application and petition are granted, the first respondent (Kenya Power) will continue to violate the consumer rights of the petitioners and their customers.”