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Economy

Wa Iria digs in as Munga snubs water negotiations

MR PETER MUNGA. FILE PHOTO |   NMG
MR PETER MUNGA. FILE PHOTO |   NMG 

Tycoon Peter Munga yesterday snubbed summons by Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria as their row over water tariffs in the county escalated to the courts. 

Yesterday, Murang’a Water and Sewerage Company (Muwasco), where Mr Munga is the chairman, rushed to court to bar the governor from holding any public meeting to discuss water tariffs.

The governor Wednesday summoned Mr Munga to explain why Muwasco water charges are expensive and a burden to Murang’a residents.

The businessman did not show up for the meeting and Muwasco went to court seeking orders to stop meeting on water rates, arguing that it would incite residents to violence.

The court did not issue orders stopping the meeting, emboldening Mr Wa Iria to summon Mr Munga for a second time.

“I am making a public invitation to Munga to meet me and water consumers in the county. But the water rates will drop whether he likes it or not,” the governor said yesterday.

The two have had a long running feud over water tariffs with Mr Mwangi demanding that Muwasco cut rates.

Mr Munga has shares worth billions of shillings in Britam Holdings Ltd, a stake in Equity Bank and owns Meru Ginneries, Pioneer Group of Schools as well as Equatorial Nut Processors Limited.

The governor accused the tycoon of bankrolling his opponent Moses Mwangi’s campaigns and interfering with local politics. Dr Mwangi was CEO of Equatorial Nut Processors.

Yesterday, the governor’s lawyers led by Mbugua Ngang’a told the court that stopping the governor from holding a meeting would be unconstitutional and illegal.

He said that the meeting was called in line with the Constitution and the County Government Act.

“The complaint are asking the court to take away their right to associate and take away from the county a function conferred to them by the Constitution,” he argued.

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