14 December 2017

Kenya: Governor Lenku Under Fire Following Remarks on Water Reforms

When Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku accused Ukambani of causing water shortages in his county on Tuesday, he passed as a champion of Maasai rights to some but as a rabble-rouser to others.

In his Jamhuri Day speech, Mr Lenku claimed that area residents had lacked water since independence because most of the commodity was distributed to other counties, a reference to Makueni and Machakos.

Irate Makueni residents Wednesday took to social media to criticise Mr Lenku whom they accused of politicising a very delicate issue.

They cautioned Mr Lenku against the remarks that they said could spoil the good relations among residents of the counties.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana faulted Mr Lenku over the remarks.

SHRED RESOURCE

"The water the governor is talking about is a shared resource and that is why Makueni has always paid millions of shillings owed to Noulturesh as electricity bills and has been assisting the company in repairing the water system to enhance the distribution," Prof Kibwana told Nation in an interview.

The remarks by Mr Lenku risked sparking animosity between communities in the counties, said Prof Kibwana.

"We have been good neighbours with the Maasai community and we even share markets found in both counties," he said, echoing the reaction by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.

The two leaders said they were ready to dialogue with their Kajiado counterparts on how to solve disputes arising from the use of water and other resources.

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