Water company director sues executive over defamation in alleged fake letter

Murang’a county government Executive for Water and Irrigation Mr Paul Ng’ang’a Macharia. [Boniface Gikandi/Standard]
Murang'a Water and Sanitation Company (Muwasco) Managing Director Daniel Ng'ang'a filed a lawsuit against Mr Macharia over claims that the water executive had accused him of forging a letter to license the firm.

Mr Ng'ang'a said Macharia made the accusations during a television interview.

He also provided part of the transcript that read: “The managing director did a letter, forged my signature and my stamp purporting to have gone through my office. The letter did not come to my office but went to the Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb). I think we need to be very genuine; we need to be very clear because this is a criminal offence."

During the interview, Macharia claimed that he disowned the letter and wrote another one to Wasreb objecting to the licensing of the water company. This after the regulatory body tasked his office to clarify whether he had granted Muwasco approval to continue with business.

When the letter was released in November last year, Macharia reportedly asked the Murang’a North DCI to investigate the matter.

Ng'ang'a said Macharia had failed to retract the statement even after he demanded to have the matter resolved, and despite notifying the executive of his intention to sue.

“That as a result of the publication and broadcasting, the plaintiff’s character and reputation have been injured and exposed to public scandal,” reads part of the lawsuit filed by Sunkuli and Company Advocates.

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The water executive, who was served with the suit papers on September 6, was ordered to respond within 15 days.

Water wars in Murang'a have escalated after Governor Mwangi wa Iria moved to manage the affairs of water companies. The decision faced opposition from the utility firms with some going to court to block their dissolution.

At one point, Mr Iria gazetted reduced water tariffs that prompted a standoff with the water service providers.

In July this year, Macharia ordered all water companies to submit their employees’ details and payrolls to the Murang’a Water and Sewerage Services Corporation failure to which they would lose their jobs.

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Murang'a Water and Sanitation CompanyDaniel Ng'ang'aWasrebGovernor Mwangi wa Iria