Services at the Kiambu Law court may grind to a halt following the disconnection of power last week by the Kenya Power over an outstanding debt of over Sh300,000.
According to a disconnection notice of Account No 10696565 that was signed by the utility service provider’s Business Manager Kennedy Ogalo that was written on January 20, the law courts owed the company Sh. 294,343.61 which had remained unsettled since October 2019.
He stated in the letter “Please take note that in accordance to the relevant provisions of the Energy Act 2019, we are entitled to discontinue the supply of power to you on this account as well as any other you may hold.”
He added: “In the circumstances, TAKE NOTICE that should we not receive the above-stated amount within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall not have any option than to suspend our services to the said meter forthwith.
Following the disconnection, the court is now using a generator that consumes 200 liters in 36 hours as they use power day and night owing to the sensitivity of the files they handle.
The court has to remain lit 24/7 to protect the files relating to accused people who have been sentenced to death or are serving life imprisonment and have lodged appeals.
According to documents seen by KNA, the law courts paid Sh165,000 in January to reduce the debt which stood at Sh494,434.61, thus leaving them with a debt of Sh294,343.61 inclusive of monthly consumption.
Initially, payment of the utilities which included power and water was paid from headquarters in Nairobi but from the beginning of this year, it was devolved and each court is expected to pay for their own consumption using funds they are given through Authority to Incur Expenditure(AIE).
Ironically, Kiambu Law Courts has been generating the highest revenue compared to other Government departments in terms of court fines but they are not allowed to spend the money at source.
The fines are paid to an account in the bank and the receipts are taken to the institution for processing prior to a person with a case being released.
This is the first time the Judiciary in Kiambu is suffering from the setback which has been synonymous with other departments that have been suffering from declining budgets.
An officer from the court who preferred to remain unanimous told KNA that their efforts to talk to Kenya Power to give them more time to settle the debt which was inherited from headquarters were futile.
He revealed to KNA that the court consumes power worth Sh50,000 monthly.