Governors lose bid to join water firms case

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria at General Ihura stadium where he warned water firms to adhere to county water laws with immediate effects. [Boniface Gikandi/Standard]
Governors have lost a bid to be enjoined a case challenging a county government's attempt to take over management of water services.

High Court Judge Kanyi Kimondo thwarted the attempt by Council of Governors (CoG) to be enjoined, as an interested party, in a suit three petitioners have filed against Murang'a County government.

The application was dismissed on grounds it did not meet the required threshold.

Former Murang’a mayor Mercy Kimwe and customers of Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company Antony Mwangi and Jane Wanyoike, moved to court seeking orders restraining the county government from interfering with its operations.

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The government forcefully took over the management of the company in August last year.

“The notice by the Council of Governors is devoid of merit and is hereby dismissed,” ruled the judge.

The CoG, through lawyer Peter Wanyama, made an application in support of Kenya Gazette notice No 8391 of August 15, 2018 by area governor Mwangi wa Iria that allowed county government to take control of the water sector.

In its affidavit, the council supported Iria's takeover of the sector on grounds it is a devolved function and should, therefore, be placed under control of county governments.

Last year, the petitioners moved to court to block the county government from interfering with the water company through governor's appointed committees.

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The High Court allowed Directorate of Public Prosecutions and Directorate of Criminal Investigations to proceed with prosecution of suspects arrested engaging in plumbing works at the company.

Kanyi had dismissed an application by the plumbers, Benson Gichie and Josphat Kabutha, seeking to squash criminal proceedings against them.  

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Council of GovernorsMurang'a County governmentMurang'a Water wars