The Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) has termed the newly gazetted water board by Murang’a County government as unconstitutional.
The WASREB’s Chief Executive Officer Eng. Robert Gakobia said Governor Mwangi wa Iria did not follow the right legal procedure in forming and gazetting names of Murang’a Water and Sewerage Services Corporation.
Gakobia was speaking during a public participation meeeting to collect views on application of renewal of operating license of one of Murang’a water companies on Monday.
He said any appointment in public office should follow competitive interview and public participation which was not done during the nomination of the water board members.
He said “As far as I am concerned, the gazetted water corporation by the county government of Murang’a is null and void.”
The CEO noted that the governor only relied on Murang’a Water and Sanitation Services ACT 2018 while forming the 12-member board and added the ACT has some obsolete areas which need to be amended to be in line with the national water laws.
On Friday, Wa Iria gazetted members of the corporation to be in charge of all local water boards.
Gakobia had led officials from WASREB to collect views towards application by Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company (MUWASCO) for renewal of its license.
He said members of the Murang’a Assembly should amend the water act to conform to constitutional requirements.
WASREB’s pronouncement puts paid to efforts by the county government to take full control of management of all local water companies.
Meanwhile, stakeholders present gave positive reviews towards functioning of the water company giving a nod for its license to be renewed.
A section of customers of Muwasco lauded the company for providing clean water to customers despite wrangles which have rocked the water sector in the county for the better part of last year.
Gakobia said they were engaging in public participation on 86 water companies which have applied to have their licenses renewed.
“Currently, the companies whose licenses have expired are operating under interim licenses and we will act urgently on the given views before giving a verdict on renewal of the licenses,” added the CEO.
He noted that WASREB Board of Directors had been inaugurated saying the process of renewing the licenses will be hastened.
Speaking during the same occasion MUWASCO Managing Director Eng. Daniel Ng’ang’a said currently the firm was serving more than 92, 000 customers.
He noted that the company was in the process of putting up another water treatment plant at Kagaa primary school in Mugoiri to connect more people with clean water.
“The proposed plant will require more than Sh100 million in phase one and once completed, more than 100, 000 people will be connected to water.
He hoped that their operating license will be renewed as they have been working under compliant legal procedures.
By Bernard Munyao