Water companies reject directive to transfer assets

Friday, June 2nd, 2023 00:30 | By

Delegates of two water firms in Murang’a have objected to the directive to transfer majority of their shares to the county administration.

Shareholders of Murang’a West and Gatamathi Water companies, who met on diverse dates last week resolved to resist the directive requiring them to be placed under control of the county government.

Delegates argued that the county lacked capacity to effectively manage the companies, citing some failures by the county administration in handling other devolved functions.

On May 3, Water Services Regulatory Board (Waserb) wrote to the firms, directing them to convert them from being private companies limited by guarantee to public companies limited by shares.

Performance contract

Each of the five companies was required to transfer 98 per cent of its shares to Murang’a County Government by June 30.

Converting the firms to public companies limited by shares, they will fully be owned by the county.

Delegates of Gatamathi water company, who met in Kiriaini shopping centre said the county has done little to support the sector and cannot be entrusted to manage the firms.  A delegate, Jane Kuria, observed that the devolved unit cannot hog for more responsibilities, citing the health sector which is fully under its management yet it was performing dismally.

“Let water companies be fully managed by Board of Directors of the firms. Leaving the companies to be managed by the county will be a big mistake,” she added.

Elsewhere, Stakeholders of Murang’a West Water, which supplies water in a bigger part of Kangema sub-county opposed the directive, saying they have contributed immensely in the growth of the firm.

The delegates who met in Kangema town in a public engagement forum asked Waserb to consider withdrawing the directive and let the firms operate like private companies.

One of the stakeholders, Ruguru Irungu said it was unfortunate the county government was interested in controlling the sector when it has displayed its inability in the performance of all other devolved functions.

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