Governor Irungu Kang'ata orders water companies to transfer ownership

Governor Irungu Kang'ata. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Governor Irungu Kang'ata has ordered water service companies to transfer ownership to the county government.

His administration is seeking to own 97 per cent shares in each company, with the rest of the shares held by other stakeholders.

Currently, the county government has only 57 per cent at the Murang'a Water (Muwasco), Murang'a South (Muswasco), Murang'a West (Mwewasco) and Gatamathi Water.

Gatanga Water Company has already complied.

In a circular dated April 11 and signed by County Water and Irrigation CEC Mary Magochi, the managing directors of the four companies have been given up to June 30 to transfer the ownership.

Section 77 of the Water Act (2016) requires the ownership of the company be transferred to the county government.

Former Governor Mwangi wa Iria in 2019, attempted to control the water firms under his administration, an issue that led to protracted legal battles.

The national committee has already been formed to ensure that all necessary assets are transferred to the devolved units as required by law.

The Steering Committee on Valuation and Transfer of County Assets is required to complete its work by the end of this financial year.

Speaking when she launched the committee last week, Principal Secretary of the State Department of Devolution Teresia Mbaika said in preparation for the commencement of the valuation activity, the team will carry out sensitisation of all county committees starting April 24.

"This is a story that has been there for a long time. I think it's time now we focus on completing this exercise. The government went ahead and gave us resources and it's time we now deliver,'' said Mbaika.

''To achieve this, we have clustered counties in five regions, each comprising five counties. Upon induction, the nationwide valuation exercise shall immediately start. I appeal to all government officials in counties and county governors to provide necessary support to ensure the success of the exercise.''

The value of assets held by 175 defunct local authorities include land, motor vehicles and buildings.