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September 20, 2018

Stop your water wars, say Murang’a residents

Murang’a residents address the press in Kenol town yesterday / ALICE WAITHERA
Murang’a residents address the press in Kenol town yesterday / ALICE WAITHERA

Murang’a residents want the county government and Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company chairman Peter Munga to find an amicable solution to the wrangles rocking the water sector.

They said Munga should withdraw his lawsuits against Governor Mwangi Wa Iria to pave the way for talks.

Addressing the press in Kenol town yesterday, the residents said the dispute has disrupted water services in the county, especially in areas covered by Muwasco.

Many parts of the county, especially semi-arid areas, have been sidelined in water coverage by companies that concentrate on towns, Peter Mbugua said.

“They have been selective in their supply and only cover areas that are populous, leaving the rest to fend for themselves,” he said.

On August 22, Munga filed a suit in the Labour and Employment Court in Nyeri, accusing Governor Wa Iria of interfering with the operations of Muwasco.

Munga wanted the court to stop Wa Iria from implementing a gazette notice published on August 15 in which he appointed Joseph Kimura to replace him as Muwasco interim chair.

Wa Iria earlier announced his intention to take over the water sector, sparking protests from Muwasco workers, This led to disconnections, sabotage and protests for two days.

On Tuesday, Munga asked the court to jail the governor for contempt, saying he continuously interferes with Muwasco’s operations,despite a court order.

But the governor told the court in an affidavit that Munga’s application to have Muwasco shielded from interference had no employment or labour issues and the court did not have jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the Water Services Regulatory Board has filed a case at the Milimani law courts in Nairobi, seeking suspension of a county government gazette notice ordering reduction of water tariffs.

The county directed five water companies including Muwasco to cut their tariffs. Muwasco defied the directive, while the other four complied.

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