Kenya: CS Keter Moved to Watered Down Devolution Docket in Cabinet Reshuffle

Kenya: CS Keter Moved to Watered Down Devolution Docket in Cabinet Reshuffle

President Uhuru Kenyatta (file photo). Nairobi — Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter has been moved to the Ministry of Devolution in a Cabinet reshuffle affecting two other colleagues.

In changes announced by State House on Wednesday, the Ministry of Devolution was also scaled down with the State Department for ASALs domiciled there moved to the Ministry of Public Service and Gender.

Keter’s position at the Ministry of Energy was assigned to Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma who was moved from the Department of Defence she had been moved in January 2020 after a similar reshuffle in which she switched her foreign affairs portfolio with Rachelle Omamo.

Eugene Wamalwa will take over as Defense Cabinet Secretary.

Keter’s exit from the energy docket came hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta received a report submitted by a presidential taskforce on review of power purchase agreements he appointed in March, which recommended wide-ranging reforms to bring down the cost of electricity.

"The consequence of the proposed interventions is that a consumer who previously spent Sh500 per month on electricity shall by December 31, 2021 pay Sh330 per month," a statement released by the President’s Press Office indicated.

"This cost reduction will be achieved through the reduction of the consumer tariffs from an average of Sh24 per kilowatt hour to Sh16 per kilowatt hour which is about two thirds of the current tariff," State House elaborated.

The taskforce chaired by John Ngumi, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Kenya Pipeline Company, also recommended the cancellation of all unconcluded power purchase agreements.

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) will be required to take a leading role in the formulation of power purchase agreements with Independent Power Producers in future under a new framework proposed by the taskforce.

KPLC is also expected undertake a forensic audit on procurement and system losses resulting from heavy fuel oils and list beneficial owners of independent power producers in its annual reports.

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