Kenya: Nyahururu Water Boss Bernard Mwaura Fired Over Corruption

18 November 2019

The Nyahururu water company board has summarily dismissed Managing Director Bernard Mwaura over allegations of corruption.

In September, Nyahururu Water and Sanitation Company (Nyahuwasco) sent Mr Mwaura on compulsory leave for investigations into abuse of office claims.

Mr Mwaura, who had served for seven years, was accused of bribing members of the Laikipia assembly to shoot down Laikipia County Water Services Management Bill, 2018.

Following his dismissal, a statement said, "The board of directors has terminated the contract of Managing Director Benard Mwaura for violation of the company's fiscal and government policies."

REPLACEMENT

The bill was meant to provide a legal and institutional framework for matters including management of water resources, water harvesting and provision of water and sewerage services.

Mr Peter Kariithi has since taken over in acting capacity from Mr Mwaura, whose contract was to expire in July 2020.

"The board has also accepted the resignation of finance and administration manager Mr James Mugo Macharia," the press statement further stated.

WASPA'S OPPOSITION

Mr Mwaura's dismissal comes two months after the Water Service Providers Association of Kenya (WASPA) raised concerns about irregular disciplinary action against him.

WASPA regretted that following the actions by Laikipia County, which is the majority shareholder, and the board, no formal report was filed to warrant his suspension.

"The county is the main complainant in bribery allegations against Mr Mwaura. A letter to the board to institute the disciplinary action is illegal since there has been no formal report filed to warrant any disciplinary action," WASPA Chief Executive Officer Anthony Abungo said in September.

He also claimed grounds for the suspension were insufficient as the county relied on hearsay.

INTERFERENCE

WASPA further warned that shareholders' interference with the board would lead to poor governance and lack of cooperation.

Governor Ndiritu Muriithi hailed the board's move, saying reforms were needed to improve service delivery.

"I believe the decision will ensure residents get better services from the company and that public resources are protected," said the governor who has maintained a tough stand in the war against corruption.

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