Kenya Power has been cleared to purchase over 700,000 meters worth Sh5.4 billion following a High Court ruling that dismissed a case challenging the tender process.

This move unlocks new power connections for Kenyans and aids the utility company in tackling the issue of illegal electricity use.

Justice Jairus Ngaah dismissed the suit filed by Niavana Agencies Limited, a local company that argued restricting the tender to local manufacturers and assemblers' disadvantaged citizen contractors.

The judge clarified that citizen contractors could participate if they were registered in Kenya, conducted business within the country, and manufactured goods and services locally.

"I am not satisfied that a case has been made persuade me to exercise my discretion in favour of the applicant," stated Justice Ngaah, dismissing the application with costs awarded to Kenya Power and the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

This verdict translates to millions of shillings in legal fees for Niavana Agencies and its managing director, Benedict Ndung'u.

Kenya Power labelled Ndung'u a "serial complainant" on tenders, accusing him of being a "vexatious litigant" motivated by harassing and financially burdening companies.

Ndung'u had previously challenged two other Kenya Power tenders. He claimed the meter tender, initially floated in November 2023, was unlawfully amended twice, hindering fair competition.

Kenya Power defended the tender process, including extending the deadline for amendments.

They emphasized that the tender was open to all qualified local manufacturers and assemblers, promoting domestic industries.

While ten companies expressed interest, only eight submitted bids by the December 1st, 2023 deadline. Notably, Niavana Agencies was not among the bidders.

The meter acquisition is crucial for Kenya Power. The company faces a backlog of connection requests exceeding half a million due to a lack of meters, and the previous freeze on the tender exacerbated illegal connections, impacting their revenue.

This court ruling paves the way for Kenya Power to address both issues simultaneously – expanding legal connections and curbing electricity theft.