Over 200 residents from Nguuka village, Ngariama in Kirinyaga East Sub-county are counting losses after losing Sh. 3 million to fraudsters pretending to be Kenya power employees who could connect power.
The angry residents held a peaceful demonstration demanding to either get a refund or have the power connected to their homes.
According to Shem Munene, some county government employees were among those alleged to have been directed by the governor to address the power issue, but instead colluded with the rogue Kenya power employees to swindle them of their cash.
He said they were called in a meeting where they were told that for the power to get to their homes, each member was to part with Sh. 20,000 of which there was a deadline to make payment.
He said true to their word, power was connected to all the homes, but was later disconnected after two days, the reason being that power was connected illegally.
Munene added that after a month another team visited them with the same story, this time around they were told to give an additional Sh. 2,000, which made them become suspicious.
A Mau Mau fighter Wamutema said that she is one of those who lost money in the deal and now use tin lamp as a source of light, crying aloud to the authorities for the issue to be addressed.
Joshua Maina a young man from the village said he is forced to trek for over three kilometers to access electricity for his online business.
He said that most of his jobs are online and with the absence of power in the village, it makes it difficult for him to be able to meet deadlines for his clients.
“I am an online user most of my jobs are online since Covid-19 pandemic was reported in Kenya, I mostly do online jobs, I am forced to walk for three kilometers to where the source of energy is making it hard since I have to work for some hours before darkness falls,” said Maina.
With the high cost of paraffin, learners are always punished for not finishing homework and those that are engaged through online classes, missing it out altogether.
“We have learners who are learning through online classes, since there is no electricity they are always behind the syllabus,” Maina said
Residents have also heaped blame on their area Member of Parliament Gichimu Githinji for promising to have a transformer installed in the village but to no avail.
Contacted for comments, Gichimu said that the arrangements were in place to have the residents provided with a transformer.
“I have been following up on the issue, what I am asking from the residents is patience,” said Gichimu.
When contacted, officials from the power company refused to answer to the allegations claiming they were non-committal and were not aware of the connection.