Of Cartels, Collusion and Captive Consumers: On the State of Kenya’s Energy Sector

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Image by HBS Nairobi

Since January 2018, the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), the entity responsible for the country’s electricity distribution, has found itself under siege by an organically mobilised and extremely angry battalion of Kenyans from all walks of life in their quest for energy justice.

The #SwitchOffKPLC campaign that started on Twitter has since spread through the wider media space and unleashed an unprecedented outcry against KPLC following several months of erroneous billing of customers. The campaign has been fueled by KPLC’s “pay-first-ask-questions-later” approach, which left many consumers with inflated bills that they were forced to pay to avoid being disconnected.

Perspectives spoke to one of the campaign’s leaders to shed light on the dark side of Kenya’s power sector, which is said to be one of the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa, having undergone structural reforms and liberalisation since the 1990s. 

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Perspectives is a publication series of the Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. The series provides a platform for experts from Africa to express their views about issues pertinent to the democratic and sustainable development agenda in the region.

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