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Stop your water wars, say Murang’a residents

Murang’a residents want the county govern ment and Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company chairman Peter Munga to findan 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 late last year,
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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