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Gatanga residents want Sonko arrested

by kenya-tribune

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A group of residents of Gatanga Constituency wants Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko arrested and prosecuted over the alleged sale of water from Murang’a without their express consent.

The residents of the constituency in Murang’a County have asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to arrest Mr Sonko and top managers of Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (Nawasco).

In a letter dated September 7, the complainants asked detectives to “move with speed and investigate the circumstances under which Nairobi County is selling water from Murang’a to Nairobi and Kajiado residents without the express consent from Murang’a residents”.

The letter that Mr Patrick Muigai wrote on behalf of the residents was received at the DCI headquarters in Nairobi.

The group also asked police to investigate Nairobi’s management of Ndakaini dam despite its location in Murang’a, a fact that the residents said means it belongs to them.

Mr Muigai told the Nation that they decided to seek the agencies’ intervention since the Nawasco has been getting water from Ndakaini for free but has been selling it to the people of Nairobi.

“Nairobi County has been handling stolen property and selling it to residents, which is an offence, That’s why we want the investigating agencies to arrest the county boss and the top management of Nawasco,” he said.

He added that after the promulgation of the 2010 constitution, Nairobi should have entered into an agreement with Murang’a that would see it benefit by way of revenue.

Mr Muigai warned that should the DCI fail to instigate charges against Nairobi and Nawasco, they will take court action.

Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria and Senator Irungu Kang’ata have demanded 25 per cent revenue from the sale of the water.

Reached by phone for comment on the matter, Nawasco MD Nahashon Muguna noted that no community owns water resources in Kenya as these are under the national government as specified in the Constitution.

Mr Muguna told the Nation that they pay for all the water collected from various resources, including Ndakaini Dam, before it is supplied to residents.

As such, he said, nobody has the authority to arrest and prosecute Sonko and Nawasco officials.

“The residents of Gatanga do not have a case because water management is clearly detailed in the Water Act.,” he said.

Mr Muguna also pointed out the roles of the Water Resources Authority which, according the Act, “formulates and enforces standards, procedures and regulations for the management and use of water resources”.

The authority also “receives water permit applications for water abstraction, water use and recharge … and enforces the conditions of those permits”

It also collects water permit fees and water use charges.

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