Murang’a county government is expected to take full control of water sector if a recently passed water bill is assented into law.
Once governor Mwangi wa Iria signs the Bill into law, all five water companies operating within the county will be consolidated and be managed under one company.
On Thursday, the assembly committee chaired by nominated MCA, Jane Wanjiru tabled the bill before the house for third reading without any amendments.
Wanjiru told the House that the committee could do nothing after its recommendation to have the second reading be shelved until proper public participation is done was objected to by majority of the MCAs.
On Wednesday, during second reading, Wanjiru said majority of Murang’a residents objected the Bill claiming the public participation was poorly done.
In some areas, no members of the public showed up to take part in the scheduled public Participations.
During third reading, 35 members of the assembly voted for the Bill with five opposing the proposed water law.
Those voted against the Bill argued that the views of Murang’a residents were not factored in the law saying passing it may attract court suits.
Kimorori MCA, Amos Murigi said there was no need to hasten passing a Bill which lacks support from the locals.
“The Bill can be deferred until proper public participation is done and people’s views be factored in the proposed law,” said Murigi.
The MCAs who supported the Bill argued that public participation forums were frustrated by external forces citing interference from water companies which are against the Bill.
Some of the MCAs cited bribery claims where they accused their colleagues of being given money to oppose the bill.
The five water companies operating within the county include, Murang’a Water (Muwasco), Murang’a South (Muswaco), Gatanga, Kahuti and Gatamathi water and sanitation companies.
Since August 2018 the county government has been at loggerhead with the water companies after the former announced its move to take full control of the water firms.
In the past, governor Wa Iria has been accusing the water firms saying they are operating like private entities.
By Bernard Munyao