Why Munga wants Wa Iria jailed - Daily Nation

Munga files contempt of court case against Wa Iria

Tuesday September 4 2018

Murang'a Water and Sewerage

Murang'a Water and Sewerage Company chairman Peter Munga (left) addresses reporters as Murang'a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria (right) looks on at his office premises. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Businessman Peter Munga wants Governor Mwangi Wa Iria jailed for disobeying court orders barring him from interfering with operations at Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company (Muwasco).

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday at the Labour court, Mr Munga wants the governor jailed for six months.

He indicated that the governor has continued to interfere with the work of board of directors, staff and operations of the water company, contrary to court orders dated August 28.

'IMPUNITY'

“Despite being aware of the court orders, the respondent has wilfully disobeyed the same with impunity and demonstrated remorseless refusal to comply,” said Mr Munga through lawyer Anthony Kabathi.

The tycoon told Justice Maureen Onyango that Muwasco operations have stalled because the governor confiscated and impounded six motor vehicles and 21 motor cycles belonging to the water firm.

Mr Munga noted that pending hearing of a petition in which he is challenging the governor’s decision to remove him from the company’s chairmanship, the governor has acted in bad faith.

“The willful and mischievous actions of the Respondent are designed to frustrate and obstruct lawful orders of the court. The has the requisite jurisdiction to punish for contempt of court in order to meet the ends of justice and safeguard the rule of law,” argued lawyer Kabathi.

Mr Munga said the governor has made the working environment of Muwasco extremely dangerous.

He complained that Mr Wa Iria has orchestrated mayhem and that hired goons were ruthlessly unleashing violence upon innocent employees of the water firm.

The tycoon also lamented that the governor has made access to Muwasco offices impossible by welding the doors and gates.

“The respondent blockaded the premises using sand, ballast and building stones,” said Mr Munga, who is the former Equity Bank chairman.

He claimed that the governor has also commissioned a local vernacular station to air and widely publish directives rubbishing the court orders and inciting Murang’a residents not to pay their water bills.

“The acts by the respondents pose a grave threat to the continuity of the Muwasco’s operations, the livelihoods of the employees and the constitutionally enshrined water and sanitary rights of Murang’a residents,” he noted.

RESPONSE

The hearing of the contempt application will be on September 20 when Governor Wa Iria will have filed and served his response.

The court also allowed Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb) to join the suit as an interested party.

Mr Munga sued the governor last month for attempting to remove him from the control of the firm.

He said the governor had arbitrarily terminated his tenure as the Chairperson and irregularly, unlawfully and unconstitutionally appointed Professor Joseph Kimura in is position.

He added that he was denied the right to be heard nor reasons for the termination.

Lawyer Kabathi said dethronement of Mr Munga is designed to hold the Muwasco Board hostage ‘so as to create a platform for corrupt and manipulative machinations’.

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