"I am relieved that the Rural Electrification Authority finally rerouted the power line. I thank you for following the issue up without relenting until justice was served,” these were the words of John Kiplagat, a beneficiary of the Ombudsman services.
Mr. Kiplagat had complained that a Rural Electrification Authority (REA) contractor in charge of the power line to Kaptebegwo Primary in Chemelet Location of Konoin Constituency, Bomet County, violated his civil liberties by trespassing on his land and felling down his trees in order to erect electricity poles and lines in May 2014 without his involvement and the necessary compensation. He said the activity rendered his land inaccessible and he could not undertake any agricultural activities on it as the contractor had failed to clear the debris. He complained to REA and after deliberations, the Authority agreed to compensate him and restore his farm by clearing the debris and rerouting the electricity line.
However, by January 2015, the Authority had not kept the promise. The inaction caused him so much pain as he was forced to incur extra cost of clearing the debris over a period of four months. The continued suffering prompted Kiplagat to lodge a complaint with the Commission when the Authority failed to undertake the remaining work of rerouting the line even when he had eased their work by clearing the debris.
The Commission, by way of inquiry, picked up the issue with the Managing Director, REA. The Authority committed to reroute the line by December 2016. However, Kiplagat reported back to the Commission that the line had not been rerouted seven months later. The Commission had further engagements with REA which led to the rerouting of the electric line.