ALLEGATIONS OF COVERUP

Makueni government, KPC clash over Kiboko oil spill

Senate Energy committee conducts public hearings on spill, exposing mistrust among agencies

In Summary

• Kiboko residents lobby accuses Pipeline of disregarding multi-agency water testing.

• Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr. warns county might seek redress in court.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr
OIL SPILL PROBE: Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr
Image: FILE

The Makueni county leadership and residents of Kiboko have accused Kenya Pipeline of colluding with government administrators to cover up the Kiboko oil spill.

Oil spillage hit Kiboko natural springs along the newly constructed Sh48 billion Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline on March 30.

The Water Resources Authority has said Kiboko River water is unfit for human and livestock consumption.

 

KPC, however, disputed the results arguing that it had conducted independent chemical and toxicological analysis of the water which showed no contamination.

When the Senate Energy committee conducted public hearings on the spill on Monday, it was clear mistrust had set in among the county and national governments, the agencies handling the matter and residents.

Kiboko Water Resource Users Association chair Wilson Munguti unleashed the first salvo accusing Kenya Pipeline of disregarding joint water testing by Nema, KPC and WRA.

 

"In the last meeting we held with KPC, we all agreed that​ we will have to choose together the laboratories to​ do testing of the water. Nema was chairing the meeting together with WRA but in between KPC started playing games. They held another meeting and chose three laboratories without involving the county government and the residents through the Water Resource Users Association", Munguti said.

He said the national government through local administrators was not neutral in the matter.

"We have a lot of respect for our national government administrators because they are the people who ensure our security but we would like to appeal to them, on this matter please take a neutral stand and leave it to be handled by the affected persons and the polluter who is Kenya Pipeline", Munguti said.

Sanate Energy committee chair Mary Seneta asked the community to resist any efforts to divide them, promising that the Senate would take up the matter and ensure justice.

 

She asked KPC to supply the residents with safe water.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr. warned the county leadership would seek redress in court should KPC continue playing dirty tricks.

"As we speak, there are officers in Court over the Solai dam tragedy. Kiboko here is not an exception. When that time will come and we decide to knock on the DPP's office and the DCI, some people here will be charged for criminal negligence", Mutula said.

Makueni Agriculture executive Lawrence Nzunga accused KPC of downplaying the county government's role in matter.

"We are bitter as the county government because every time we hold a meeting with KPC, the county commissioner calls another meeting the next day without involving us and when we ask we are told it's a security meeting. Let's respect each other. We are all serving the same people and no Government has powers over the other", Nzunga said.

The executive accused KPC of applying divide and rule tactics to the disadvantage of the affected community.

The community has demanded the removal of a KPC chemical engineer working in the area.

John Nzioka, a resident, accused the officer of taking photos of children taking a bath in River Kiboko and asserting that the water is polluted by soap.