The Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company has told the county government to return its equipment seized during the fight for control of the firm.
The firm’s managing director Daniel Ng’ang’a yesterday said the county government confiscated its equipment during last week’s tug of war. He said the company is in the process of restoring water services in Murang’a town and environs.
Ng’ang’a said the company’s board of directors last Friday gave him the mandate to hire alternative equipment before the county returns theirs.
“Most of our equipment was taken by the county government and we are asking them to give them back to make resumption of our services easier,” he said.
Ng’ang’a announced that after the confrontations between the firm and the county government, water services have been restored in most places.
He spoke to journalists in his office. Ng’ang’a said majority of their customers have continued to pay their bills despite Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s announcement that water would be free until an alternative payments accounts is put in place.
Wa Iria had accused the firm of misappropriating funds and cutting off water supply to the town twice.The governor said he was well aware the firm’s workers were sabotaging water services to protest against his decision to take over the sector.
Wa Iria said water is a devolved function and criticised the company’s top management for operating autonomously and failing to account for the billions it has received in loans and grants.
But Ng’ang’a said although water services are devolved, the sector is partly a function of the national government, which manages natural resources, sets standards and tariffs and oversees consumer protection.
“The issue of the governor asking people not to pay their bills is being handled by stakeholders,” he said.
The director said the Water Act, 2016, does not allow the county to directly provide water to residents, but provides for formation of semi-autonomous agencies.
“County governments are only allowed to form water companies and Muwasco is fully owned by the county government,” Ng’ang’a said.