The battle lines between Murang’a tycoon Peter Munga and his arch-rival Governor Mwangi Wa Iria have been drawn yet again after the former announced that beneficiaries of his Murang'a County Initiative (MCI) would be given paid up internship at the five water companies in the county.
Mr Munga made the remarks at Kenol town during the mentorship programme for 32 students who have been sponsored by his initiative to join universities.
He said since the beneficiaries come from poor backgrounds, they will be employed by the water firms in order to help them support themselves and to compliment the efforts of their parents in raising the rest of their family members.
Mr Munga, who is also the chairman of the initiative, said the students will be employed by the water firms until they complete their university studies.
"Effective February 1, you will be required to join the water firm that serves the area where you come from and commence work and you will be on a paid internship until you join university…you will still be working during the holidays until you finish your university education," Mr Munga said.
He said only indiscipline, dishonesty and drunkenness would deny them the opportunity to working with the water companies, adding that all the five water companies have embraced the idea.
Dr Moses Ndung'u Mwangi, a member of the MCI steering committee, said they will write letters to the beneficiaries to take to the water firms in order to keep off imposters.
Mr Ndung’u was Governor Wa Iria's only opponent in 2017 election.
WA IRIA DARES MUNGA
But while reacting to Mr Munga's announcement, the governor dared him to effect his plan, saying that he can only decide for his private companies and not for public utilities.
He said there is a process to follow when employing workers or giving paid internships in public institutions, adding that the county public service board must be involved.
The governor said he will not allow Mr Munga to manipulate public institutions.
"Our human resources audit clearly shows that Muwasco is dominated by Munga's and the MD's family members and they need to realise that the time when they were running the water company as their personal business is long gone.
"Mr Munga, just like the four others, should be made aware that they don't have powers in the five water companies since the county gazetted the bona-fide chairpersons and his petition to challenge his ouster was dismissed by the court," he told the Nation.
Governor Wa Iria said the county will be serving all the water firms with letters cautioning them not to engage in any form of hiring any staff until the county announces so.
The latest differences between the friends-turned-foes come barely a month after the governor promised a vicious battle with the management of the water firms, saying he will ensure that the county takes over full control of the water companies.
Mr Munga's efforts to regain the chairmanship of Muwasco were thwarted after the Labour court struck out his petition, saying it had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter.
Three petitioners later filed a petition at Murang’a High Court challenging the governor's intentions to take over the management of the water firms and his decision to oust Mr Munga in a petition which is yet to be determined.