The Machakos County Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua has appointed a Task Force to investigate the workings of the Machakos and Mavoko water companies and to recommend ways to end the perennial water shortage in Machakos and Athi River towns.
The Task Force
The team headed by Machakos hotelier Alfonce Kioko, has 10 days to study the problem, prepare and deliver its report.
Areas that are included under Athi River include the sprawling Syokimau and Mlolongo estates.
At the same time, Dr. Mutua sent on a two month compulsory leave the CEOs of the Machakos and Mavoko Water Companies, Raphael Mutie and Michael Mangeli respectively for alleged incompetence that has led to water shortage in two major towns of Machakos County.
Other officers sent on compulsory leave include two ministers -Eng. Francis Maliti (Water) and Larry Wambua (Public Services) as well as the County Secretary Francis Mwaka who is said to be facing facing court charges for abuse of office.
Another senior officer Lemi Muia – Chief officer in Special Programmes – was however sacked while Peter Kimeu, the Chief Mechanical Engineer and David Mbatha the Director Roads, were suspended indefinitely.
Dr. Mutua said the changes were a result of “ lethargy, corruption, insubordination, sabotage and laxity among the affected staff”.
Towns in Machakos County have been hit by their worst water crisis where even largest ones like Machakos have not had running water for months. Earlier announcements by the County Government to spread water supply to the town environs have thus remained “pipe dreams” even where furrows had been dug up.
Town residents in Machakos have blamed over use of the water in town’s Maruba Dam for the dry taps and stalling of the water expansion projects.
Much water, they argue, to watering flower – a pet project of the Governor where flowers line up the road from Machakos town to Machakos-Mombasa junction covering a distance of nearly 20 kilometers.
Machakos People’s Park, another pet project of the Governor covers several acres of dry Kapiti plains which are all watered almost throughout the day with giant pipes siphoning water the dam.