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February 19, 2019

Wa Iria picks business expert to lead troubled water company

Former Equity Bank chairman Peter Munga and Governor Mwangi wa Iria on February 1 this year /ALICE WAITHERA
Former Equity Bank chairman Peter Munga and Governor Mwangi wa Iria on February 1 this year /ALICE WAITHERA

Governor Mwangi wa Iria has chosen a business expert and environmentalist to replace former Equity Bank chairman Peter Munga as head of the Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company.
The governor published a gazette notice appointing Prof Joseph Kimura as interim chair of the merged water management firm.
The notice says the Constitution has given the county government authority to take over water and sanitation services.
 “Effective immediately, Munga ceases to be the chairman of Muwasco,” the notice published on August 15 reads.
Wa Iria made the changes a month after the Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb) wrote to Muwasco, asking management to implement recommendations it had issued to the firm early in the year.
Wasreb had conducted an inspection of the firm in January this year and had given it until June to undertake specific reforms.
It cited problems of insufficient cash management, weak internal control systems, absence of adequate office space, an inhibiting job grading system, lack of an information technology policy and improper recording and signing of minutes.
“You are reminded to adhere to the recommendations of the inspection report and submit to Wasreb a comprehensive report on actions taken,” the letter dated July 16 reads.
Kimura holds a PhD in accounting from the University of California, an MBA in accounting and finance from the University of Alberta and a bachelor’s in commerce (accounting) from the University of East Africa.
He has served as dean of the school of business at United States International University, CEO College of Insurance and a commissioner in the Commission of Revenue Allocation.
In 1992, Kimura founded the Ndaka-ini Dam Environmental Conservation Association (Ndeka) that has been organising Ndaka-ini Marathon ever since.
He is a director at UAP insurance and Development Bank of Kenya. His appointment comes as the governor buried the hatchet with Munga after years of political rivalry that spilled over into Muwasco.
Wa Iria had blamed Munga for his numerous run-ins with the law, including several arrests by the EACC.He accused Munga of fronting Moses Mwangi, his employee, to run against him.
Last year, Wa Iria asked the water company to lower its tariffs after receiving numerous complaints of high charges from residents.
This led to a long fight that ended up in court after Wa Iria disbanded all water companies’ boards and appointed a committee to take over the water and sanitation services.
The two men resolved, however, to work together to streamline the water sector and the merged Muwasco, Murang’a South Water and Sanitation Company, Kahuti Water Company, Gatamathi Water Company and Gatanga Community water Development Company.
In March, tariffs were harmonised. Residents pay a Sh200 minimum, down from Sh300.

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