Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Friday cautioned the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) to conduct an audit of a suspicious gas-filling plant in Thika, Kiambu County.
In a video shared on his platform, the CS questioned whether the company had a valid licence as the premises lacked any form of branding.
He claimed that police officers often received bribes for the company to continue operations, as per area residents accounts.
The CS warned of dire consequences if the Authority does not intervene, take action and verify the operations of the company.
Aftermath of the Embakasi explosion incident which occurred on January 2, 2024.
Ministry of Interior
“Dear EPRA, this gas-filling place next to Kiandutu Police Station in Thika is the next Embakasi. What I know is that it’s not branded. There is no name at the premises,” he explained.
“What I do not know is whether its licences (are valid). I suspect it is not. What I do not know is whether the reports from locals that the police spent the whole day there receiving bribes are true. That is for you to verify.”
In the video, the company employees were filling up several Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders while a gas tanker was stationed a few centimetres away.
A security guard was also seen guarding the entrance, keeping an eye on any intruders.
CS Kuria’s concerns elicited debate from a section of Kenyans who urged EPRA to intervene and curb another tragedy following the explosion at the Mradi area in Embakasi.
“If the Embakasi LPG facility had reported even a day earlier, that disaster would have been avoided. Kenyans are bold and brave in exposing political opponents but not in exposing real threats to their lives.”
“What should matter, licensed or not or the location, approval of licensing criteria should be based on first is it in a residential zone or not? Does it meet safety measures and precautions,” read some comments online.
Some, however, castigated EPRA for allowing illegal filling plants to be operational.
“My friend and CS, EPRA and other government bodies are to blame for knowing such illegal businesses exist without closing them. That is no different to a licence to operate.”
“This is scoring an own goal, government complaining to government. Call EPRA Director-General Daniel Kiptoo and tell him to ensure all these dangerous dungeons are closed,” others intimated.
Following the Embakasi explosion, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki announced a crackdown for all gas plants in the country to enhance compliance.
He added that administrative measures would be taken against LPG operators found filling cylinders without a valid licence.
The aftermath of the Embakasi gas explosion that claimed three lives and injured over 220 others on Thursday night, February 1, 2024.