Probe bribery claims
Claims that top Ministry of Energy officials have been irregularly allocating geothermal power development licences for personal gain are troubling. In plain language, the officials are being accused of taking bribes from bidders and make that the basis of issuing licences thereby causing a lack of competitive bidding.Effectively, these are so far just claims. But with Kenya Power and Kenya Pipeline bosses having only been recently arrested for participating in or abetting fraudulent transactions that led to loss of billions of public funds, the energy sector is in the dock.Kenya’s geothermal fields are a natural wealth for all citizens and not personal property that should be exploited or managed for personal gain. It is almost certain that any mishandling or impropriety in the issuance of the licences adds to the cost that ordinary Kenyans end up paying in the form of high electricity costs. In the end, it is the Kenyan economy that suffers. For now, it is important that the concerned government officials respond promptly to the allegations in order to remove any doubts from the public arena. Ultimately, an independent and thorough investigation into these claims is necessary and if there is evidence of culpability, all those responsible must be brought to account.