Token distributors have now been barred by Kenya Power from handling tokens in an effort to handle fraud cases experienced.
Speaking during the Kenya Power media briefing on audited results for the financial year that ended on June 30, Kenya Power Managing Director and CEO Eng. Jared Othieno said that the company urges its consumers to pay for their tokens using only the mobile money platform.
“Consumers should use the authorized platform to pay for their tokens, that is M-PESA Paybill number 888880 for pre-paid services and 888888 for post-paid services so that we avoid incurring losses as a company,” he said.
The company had entrusted some of their employees to distribute tokens but it soon discovered that the vendors did not channel the money to the utility firm thereby causing the company heavy losses.
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However, the company’s decision on ways of recovering their lost monies will be a great blow to innocent Kenyans who bought the tokens not knowing there were fraudulent activities involved, as they will be required to pay for the stolen tokens.
There are cases of some Kenyans not being able to purchase tokens before they pay for the accumulated charges they had.
One customer was informed by Kenya Power upon attempts to purchase electricity units that she had accumulated charges worth 7,820 shillings which she had to pay for first.
She said that when she sought clarification about the matter she was told by the firm that “somebody had hacked their systems and was giving free units and so the firm is claiming its lost units”.
Other Kenyans who noticed that their accounts read negative and complained were advised by the firm to report to the DCI.
On asking the Kenya Power CEO Eng. Othieno why innocent Kenyans would be made to pay for tokens they genuinely bought from dishonest Kenya Power appointed agents, he was not able to give an answer.
Stephen Mutoro, the CEO for Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek), said it was unfair for the firm to recover its losses by punishing innocent consumers.
“If Kenya Power employees are responsible for the said theft, why would the firm make consumers pay for its employees’ mess?” he asked.
According to him, this unfair treatment towards token consumers by the company is a matter only a commission of enquiry can sort out as he thinks it is a matter beyond the DCI.