Kenya government to deal firmly with saboteurs in energy sector, says CS Juma

By Monica Juma

I welcome you all to KAWI complex, the home of the Energy sector family.

 I thank you for honoring our invitation to this media briefing.

This is the first substantial briefing on the state of the sector since I took over the as Cabinet Secretary for Energy on 18th October, 2021, actually three months ago. 

My brief then was and still remains clear: to spearhead the reforms of the sector with a sharp focus on the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force Report on Power Purchase Agreements.

As you may know, this briefing had been scheduled for last week but owing to the unforeseen occurrences that we had to attend to, it was postpone to this week.

I am pleased to confirm that our infrastructure and in particular transmission network is secure and that we are focused on ensuring that we do not have a repeat of the unpleasant experiences of the last few weeks.

More fundamentally, this experience underscores the imperative for reforms that will stabilise and secure our national grid.

I therefore wish to make this crystal clear at the onset of this briefing: This administration will not relent on the reforms in the energy sector. In fact the experience of the last weeks’ strengthens our resolve in this direction.

As you all know energy has been and remains a matter of great public interest. And aware of this, my first constituency to meet upon taking office was the Editors Guild on 25th 0ctober 2021, to place the task and my mandate in perspective. 

The interest in the journey of the energy reforms is perhaps the most ventilated in our nation today as demonstrated by the scale of coverage across all media platforms.

We continue to have perhaps the most coverage outside of our animated politics.

Not a day goes by without a commentary, opinion and or view about energy.  Between October and yesterday we have had a total of 2082 stories in our print media.

 Across the board, Kenyans are demanding an overhaul of the energy sector.

The public mood and message is clear. Things cannot remain as has been.

A lot of the discussion and commentary is driven by strong passion, some of it reads like attempts to divert attention from the objective and spirit of the reforms, some is misinformation by perhaps people with limited or no facts and some are views that seem to play outside the context of the envisaged reforms.

One thing is clear though. In all these perspectives there is a clear recognition of the complexity of issues involved and a loud call for bold action.

And yes, this administration is on the path of action, bold ACTION, as elaborated by the President severally, including yesterday when he gave directions on the curtailing what seems like an insatiable demand for scrap metal that is fueling a market for steel and perhaps incentivizing the destruction of our infrastructure.

This briefing therefore presents an opportunity to update on the state of play in this reform journey, from the primary source and actor - the Ministry of Energy.

I am confident that we are on a pathway of re-imagining our energy trajectory that will offer this critical service to our people, business, and drive our economy; at an affordable, reliable and sustainable manner.

More fundamentally I believe that these reforms, which are irreversible, will enhance Kenya’s leadership in the path of renewable energy globally.  So we are by these reforms strengthening our global demonstrative leadership.  

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