Tatiana Karanja, alias Mama Olive, a Kenyan photographer, and content creator, recently released videos online that showed Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) workers accompanied by armed police entering her compound, without her consent.
Mama Olive said the alleged intruders who she describes as armed guards in her story, told her something illegal was happening in her compound but offered no proper explanation or details as to what it was.
“Yesterday, KPLC showed up to my house with armed guards with claims that something illegal was going on in my compound. They just walked through my gate into my garden where I found them. I did not let them in,” she wrote in her Instagram story.
Although it is normal for KPLC personnel to enter people’s properties to check on meters, the mother of three found this particular incident unusual and frightening, since the men refused to provide their work IDs or listen to her request of leaving their guns out of her compound, as it made her and the one-month-old baby she was holding, very uncomfortable.
“I was holding a newborn baby with kids about to come home from school. I am a single mum of three girls, what danger wa the KPLC guy in when coming to read the meter? There is no justification for the way in which they behaved, and the fact that they couldn’t provide me with ID to check if they are legit is also a big issue as I needed to be reassured of my safety and that I am dealing with an authentic KPL member. Is this legal? “ her story read.
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“I want to make it clear that I was completely willing to cooperate. In fact, I was very accommodating with the only request being for them to show me their ID and for the officers with guns to wait outside my compound,” she explained.
Matters however escalated as her plea fell on deaf ears.
“They refused to show me identification or remove the guns from my property all while getting even more hostile which completely frightened me. They also did not offer me any explanation why they showed up in this manner,” she continued.
The new mom went ahead to clarify that her main concern was for her safety and the welfare of her two children, who were yet to return from school.
“All I care about is the safety of my kids! Yes, There seems to be a long-going issue to be sorted out (I’m yet to understand). But the issue with the power isn’t what I’m retaliating about. The issue is with the SAFETY. Keeping my children safe,” she said.
Mama Olive complained about the guns to KPLC customer service, but all she was given were questions regarding meters.
Stranger, one of the KPLC agents later phoned her and demanded that she removes any evidence of the “traumatic night.”
She is grateful for having had a little company home on the occurrence of the event but demands an explanation.
“KPLC, you cannot behave like this and get away with it!” she concluded.