Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Director-General Pavel Oimeke (pictured) is spending the night at the Integrity Centre’s basement cells after receiving a Sh200,000 bribe to approve the opening of a fuel station in Oyugis.
EACC head of communications Mr Philip Kagucia has confirmed that the suspect was arrested by EACC detectives earlier Thursday after receiving the money from an employee of the Oyugis-based fuel station.
Earlier, the employee had sought Mr Oimeke’s help in having the facility re-opened. The petrol station had been closed after it was found to be in possession of super export petrol.
After settling a Kenya Revenue Authority dispute by paying a Sh309,842 fine, the station obtained the taxman’s clearance letter.
“Today however, a team of investigators accompanied the complainant to EPRA headquarters with the treated Sh200,000 that was demanded,” a police report indicated.
The report added that the complainant then handed over the bribe at Mr Oimeke’s office and was issued with the approval letter leading to his arrest by EACC detectives.
In September 2020, Oimeke was briefly removed from office after his term expired. The board also wanted to start on a clean slate.
“The Board of Directors of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has designated Ms. Mueni Mutung’a as Acting Director-General, as from 17′ August, 2020”, the statement signed by EPRA board chair and former Supreme Court Judge Justice Jackton Ojwang’ said in part.
However, in October, the High Court reinstated him and essentially handed the corrupt guy a second term in office. EPRA bosses are eligible for two terms.
“In the circumstances, I found that the application did not have merit and therefore I dismissed it and ordered that the status quo of the first respondent be reinstated immediately as the DG. I had stayed that position because I thought that he had not been appointed, but he has been appointed and rightly so. And therefore he is rein,” Justice Wasilwa ruled.
In 2019, Oimeke was linked to illegal LPG gas filling stations.
According to Cnyakundi.com, Oimeke is alleged to receive bribed to license illegal LPG filling plants. He then engages in PR stunts and side-shows aimed at misleading Kenyans.
He was supposed to be arrested during the #SwitchOffKPLC campaign but it is said he managed to bribed detectives to walk a free man, despite being a criminal linked to the rot in the energy sector.
The #SwitchOffKPLC campaign has exposed the rot in the energy sector and particularly EPRA.
“The rot at ERC is appalling and most employees are staying there to just earn a salary. The man has turned the Commission upside down in less than two years since his appointment”, wrote a staff of EPRA, then Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
The anonymous source further said, ‘Out of 10 employees, 8 of them are from his village. They have zero skills and tribalism reigns supreme’.
DPP needs to move in to unearth the irregular award of tenders at ERC. He terminates procurement contracts anyhow without valid reasons if you’re not cooperating. Also, substandard goods are accepted upon his coercion of employees to sign for them. It is believed that these companies are either his/his operatives.
In Oimeke’s time, he has engaged in useless regulation of fuel/gas prices which does not make sense or serve the purpose to alleviate the suffering of Kenyans.
He has overseen Energy Injustice which has left the sector more corrupt than when EPRA did not exist. This has led to some quarters calling for the disbandment of the Commission.