Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has been mentioned in a saga involving the alleged sale of Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company to a French company.
Appearing before the House Water and Sanitation committee on Monday, the Nairobi county executive in charge of Water, Mr Peter Kimori, said Mr Wamalwa introduced him to the representatives of the French firm, Suez Company, but only to discuss ways of partnering to improve services and not to sell the State corporation.
“The CS introduced me to them some time last year in November. They paid me a courtesy call. We discussed and I sent them to the (Nairobi Water) managing director,” said Mr Kimori.
Last week, Water Principal Secretary Fred Sigor denied claims that the planned sale was mooted at Maji House. He was responding to claims by Nairobi Water managing director Philip Gichuki who, while appearing before the committee, claimed that the ministry was behind the plot to sell the company.
Attempts to reach Mr Wamalwa for a comment were unsuccessful.
Mr Kimori said after the introduction, they only discussed issues relating to minimisation of non-revenue water, harvesting of storm water and water recycling to improve supply to the city residents.
The official denied claims of the existence of a memorandum of association showing the sale of the water company or having drafted the document with the Suez officials.
“You cannot sell a company without the county executives or the County Assembly knowing,” said the executive.
This position was corroborated by Nairobi Water board of management led by chairman Raphael Nzomo, who also dismissed the sale claim. Mr Nzomo said the board only came to know of the MoU when it visited the Suez plant in Casablanca, Morocco in February.
“The document was introduced to us in Casablanca but we declined to sign it. We wondered how such a detailed document could be prepared without our involvement,” said Mr Nzomo while also appearing before the committee.
“After touring their plant, we realised they were doing better in terms of recycling waste water and harvesting storm water. So, we thought we would recommend it to the county to see how they can engage the company,” he said.