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Row mars election of water firm directors

Monday October 22 2018

Embu Governor Martin Wambora.


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A meeting to elect five directors of the multi-million Embu Water and Sanitation Company (Ewasco) board ended in disarray after key stakeholders rejected a list of nominees.

The stakeholders who included residents and MCAs said the list read by Water minister Patrick Waganagwa was different from the one approved by the selection committee.

Selection committee chairman Johnston Nyaga said none of the eight people they had shortlisted was in the list.

The meeting held at Izaak Walton Inn nearly turned chaotic after key stakeholders among them Ruguru Ngandori MCA Muturi Mwombo and the Kenya National Union of Teachers Executive-Secretary Josphat Kathumi stormed out of the venue.

They accused Mr Waganagwa of introducing unqualified persons, whom they had earlier rejected over forged documents, and vowed to move to court if the county government goes ahead to install the “unqualified directors”.

“It is shocking that the Executive has presented a list of names of people who we disqualified either for having forged documents, fake referees or other reasons. These are people who lack integrity, and cannot be expected to manage such a company,” said Mr Nyaga.

Mr Mwombo, in whose ward Ewasco taps most of the water, warned that ward reps will reject the names when tabled in the assembly for approval.

“The stakeholders are unhappy with the attempts by the executive to impose people who were disqualified by a selection committee. We will work with Governor Martin Wambora to address this problem. We don’t want it to taint his legacy,” he said.

Mr Kathumi said they will not rubber stamp unqualified people being imposed for political reasons.

Mbeere South MP Geoffrey King’ang’i threatened to call for formation of a splinter water company to serve Mbeere region.

He said the integrity of people appointed to head the board is critical since the national government had promised to fund water projects worth Sh500 million in his constituency.

 “We will not allow activities that can ruin a company, which has served Embu people well. Mbeere South region can move out of the company if people who don’t demonstrate integrity are forced on us,” he said.

Last Thursday, Mr Wambora had expressed hopes that the election would be smooth.

Ewasco is owned by the county government, and the new directors were to fill the gap left by some who joined politics and those whose term had expired.

Ewasco wanted five directors; one from Mbeere South Sub, one from Mbeere North, two from Manyatta and one from the county.​