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Friday, July 28, 2017

Eugene put me in touch with SUEZ reps, says City Hall official

Water CS Eugene Wamalwa. /FILE
Water CS Eugene Wamalwa. /FILE

Water CS Eugene Wamalwa introduced a City Hall official to the representatives of SUEZ company which is said to be eying Nairobi Water Company, it has emerged.

The French firm was claimed to be planning to buy the water firm, an issue that is now a subject of a parliamentary committee probe.

Nairobi Water executive Peter Kimori told MCAs looking into the issue that the CS introduced him to the French firm officials to discuss ways of partnering to improve services, not to sell the state corporation.

“The CS introduced me to them sometime last year in November. They paid me a courtesy call. We discussed and I sent them to the [NCWSC] managing director to listen to them,” he said on Monday.

Kimori said they discussed issues relating to minimisation of non-revenue water, harvesting of storm waters and water recycling to improve supply to city residents.

“We lose up to 38 per cent of water we supply per day. So I sent them to the MD to see if they can work to improve this,” he said.

Last week, Water PS Fred Sigor denied claims the ministry was behind the plot to sell the company. This was after NCWSC managing director Philip Gichuki told the committee the planned sale was mooted at Maji House.

Workers at the NCWSC have boycotted work for three weeks, claiming a plot by City Hall and the company’s board sell to SUEZ.

The employees, through the Kenya County Government Workers’ Union, claimed they intercepted an MoU outlining the terms of sale.

They also protested the decision by the company’s board not to renew the contract of two “performing” directors, claiming it was a plot to destabilise it and use it as an excuse to sell the firm.

Kimori, however, denied they drafted an MoU with the SUEZ officials, saying he learned of the purported MoU when he addressed the striking workers at City Hall.

The NCWSC board of management, led by chairman Raphael Nzomo, appearing before the committee alongside Kimori, also dismissed the sale claims, adding they came to know of the MoU when they visited SUEZ plant in Casablanca, Morocco, in February.

“The document was introduced to us in Casablanca, but we declined to sign it. We wondered how such a detailed document could be prepared without our involvement,” Nzomo said.

The chairman said although they identified areas where they could partner with the company to improve services, they declined to sign the document, because it was not what took them to Morocco.

Read: Plan to sell Nairobi Water Company was mooted at Maji House, says MD Gichuki

More on this: City Hall under pressure to shelve alleged Nairobi Water Company sale plan

Also read: City Hall has no plan to sell Nairobi Water Company, says Kidero

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