Kenya Power Chair Vivienne Yeda is set to exit the position at the state-owned utility’s upcoming AGM, a full year before her term is scheduled to expire.
“Ms Vivienne Yeda has given notice of retirement as a director with effect from the date of the annual general meeting,” Kenya Power shared in a public statement issued on Wednesday, November 23.
This follows a push by the National Treasury for her ouster. A letter dated November 18 seen by Business Today addressed to Kenya Power Company Secretary Imelda Bore disclosed plans by the Treasury to shake up the leadership at the company.
“As a shareholder with 50.1% shareholding in The Kenya Power and Lighting Company Plc., we require the Board of Directors of the Company to table before the AGM an ordinary resolution for the removal of directors pursuant to Article 129 of the Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association,” the letter read in part.
Multiple sources indicated that senior figures in the President William Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza administration are uncomfortable with Yeda being in charge, over her links to the previous administration led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
She was appointed in 2020 as Uhuru led reforms at the utility ostensibly to lower the cost of power, primarily attributed to flawed long-term power purchase deals signed by Kenya Power with independent power producers (IPPs).
President Ruto has promised to depoliticize Kenya Power and ensure it is managed as a commercial entity to boost its performance. Many industrial customers, who represent the biggest share of Kenya Power revenues, are shifting to solar for example over the high cost of power coupled with outages.
The Senate Energy Committee is also leading a push that could break up the Kenya Power monopoly by allowing Kenya’s largest power generator, KenGen, to sell power directly to consumers.
The Senators, who also called for an audit of Kenya Power contracts with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), stated that the actions would result in more affordable energy for Kenyans.