Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Darkness, darkness and nothing but....

Early yesterday, a friend and then, later, an aunt in Nairobi, rang me up to inform me that I wouldn't be having power this morning starting from 9.00 am till 5.00 pm. They knew this due to the KPLC advertising it's scheduled 'maintenance' outages in the dailies and when it's the area I live in, they also print my name there.

Therefore, I was all set to spend the day without power and all the inconveniences that it entails.

But, instead, our renamed (by me), Kenya Weakness & Darkness Company, plunges the WHOLE COUNTRY into darkness at around 3.30 am! Of course, living in this unethical, unaccountable and lawless country of ours, one has to start informing these people of the fact that there's no power as soon as one realizes this fact. Otherwise, when, after many hours of waiting one finally rings them, they will give a standard tape-recorded type of answer, 'What is your account number, which area is this, etc.....', and generally behaving like they don't have the foggiest idea what one is talking about!

Therefore, I rang them up immediately the lights went (I was awake at the time), and instead got a reply which was mercifully very different from the above. They happened to know that the lights had gone off and this female told me that the whole town of Mombasa was in darkness, though, she had no idea how long it would take to restore power and also what had caused it.

I waited, unable to sleep, any longer, for about an hour and then, rang them, again. This time I got the added information that the whole country was affected. But, they still didn't know what was the cause and when power would be restored.

Subsequently, I started calling all the so-called engineers who have given me their mobile numbers as well as one of their customer relations manager. Only two people answered my phone - Mr. Mahaga and Mr. Vidzo. Neither of them had any clue (or so they said), as to why we were having an outage and how long it would last.

The power was eventually restored at between 7.30/7.45 am with no explanation.

The scheduled 'maintenance' outage that was to have happened at 9.00 am today, has yet to take place. We don't know why it hasn't and are hoping that this is not going to be rescheduled to mess up our weekend, yet again.

Now, can the KPLC, media, etc., please explain to the long suffering consumers of their shoddy but highly expensive 'service', why, since late last year, they have been plunging the entire country at infrequent intervals, into total darkness with not a word of apology or explanation? Due to their lack of comment, the public's unreigned imagination goes totally wild and one begins to think in terms of more sinister reasons....

These days KPLC seems to be following in the footsteps of our other translucent, at best, and opaque service providers, with no ethics, accountability and completely impervious to their consumers opinions. Why are they behaving this way?

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