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Kidero, Sonko clash over claims of sale of water firm

By JOSPHAT THIONG'O | Published Wed, July 12th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 11th 2017 at 22:07 GMT +3
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero chats with Isaac Tonui(left) and his Deputy Jonathan Mweke(left) after meeting various Aspirants from Nairobi county in a Nairobi hotel where they met various NASA aspirants in Nairobi. . Photo by WILLIS AWANDU

There are no plans to privatise the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, Governor Evans kidero has said.

Kidero spoke yesterday as the Nairobi County Assembly was recalled to start investigating allegations that City Hall was out to sell the water company to a French firm.

Speaking to the media at the Methodist Guest House, the governor said it was not practical to sell the State-owned company.

Senator Mike Sonko also waded into the debate, accusing Governor Kidero of trying to privatise the water company to 'fund his campaign'.

Sonko claimed that the governor was arresting youth from the Sonko Rescue Team who were providing water to city residents affected by the shortage.

He claimed that Kidero wanted to make money was by sending water trucks to sell water to the residents.

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"The governor is trying to sell the company so that he can fund his campaign. Having sensed defeat, he is keen on disposing of county assets," said Sonko in a statement sent to newsrooms.

Political hand

For the past two weeks, workers at the company have been on strike to protest at the alleged sale.

The Kenya County Government Workers Union's branch secretary, Matilda Kimetto, last week claimed that an unsigned memorandum of understanding between water company's board and SUEZ company from France had been intercepted. She claimed that the document stipulated the terms of the sale.

However, Kidero, denied the claims, saying he suspected a political hand behind the company's woes.

"There is absolutely nothing like that. State owned companies like Nairobi Water cannot be privatised and if they are, they are guided and controlled by the Privatisation Act of 2005, which was reviewed in 2012," said Kidero.

He warned his political opponents to steer clear of the water firm saying: "There is absolutely no truth in that. These are people who want to derail or introduce politics in the management of water in Nairobi."

Commenting on the biting water shortage, Kidero refuted claims that the on-going workers' strike had worsened the situation.

Sonko said he suspected foul play to allow water cartels to supply estates using their trucks.