In Summary
  • Thousands of customers started experiencing the hitch in tokens generation on Friday evening, with the problem extending through the weekend.
  • Small businesses such as barber shops that top up multiple times a week were hardest hit.

  • The sole electricity distributor admitted its system encountered challenges that crippled token generation across all vendors.

Kenya Power is again on the spotlight following claims of inflated power bills and a glitch in its electronic payment system that made it impossible to top up tokens on prepaid meters.

Thousands of customers started experiencing the hitch in tokens generation on Friday evening, with the problem extending through the weekend.

Small businesses such as barber shops that top up multiple times a week were hardest hit.

“My business usually thrives during weekends but I was forced to close early in the evening due to lack of power although I had paid for the tokens that were never generated,” said Mr John Kamau, a fast food restaurant owner in Nairobi.

BARBER SHOP

Mr John Kimilu, a barber shop operator, also had to close business early.

Kenya Power processes up to 200,000 electronic transactions per day for power users, with 85 per cent done through its Safaricom M-Pesa paybill number 888880.

The remaining share is handled by its authorised third party vendors such as Vendit (paybill number 501200) and Dynamo (800904), which charge a premium for the transaction.

The sole electricity distributor admitted its system encountered challenges that crippled token generation across all vendors, advising customers on prepaid meters to buy the units from Kenya Power banking halls across the country until normalcy returned.

STATEMENT

“The IT team is trying to figure out where the problem was before we issue a comprehensive statement on the issue,” the firm responded to Nation queries, adding that the issue had been resolved by yesterday afternoon.

Customers who use Vendit confirmed to Nation they had successfully bought tokens yesterday afternoon.

However, there have been complaints that third party vendors process tokens almost in real time, unlike Kenya Power which, despite indicating a 30 minute delay in its service promise, sometimes takes up to six hours.  

But other users complained of inflated power bills after being slapped with abnormally high charges.

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