MP Gachagua asks Uhuru to fire Tobiko

A Member of Parliament yesterday asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko whom he accuses of mismanaging the ministry.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua  said Tobiko’s order that water intakes in areas surrounding Mt Kenya and Aberdare forests be disconnected was ill-advised and had cost the Jubilee administration popularity in the area.

“President Uhuru should relook at this CS. He is on a destructive mode and right now people are very unhappy with the Jubilee government,” the MP told a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

Gachagua also accused Tobiko of refusing to see the region’s MPs when they wanted to air the grievances of their constituents.

“When we sought to meet him, we were told to do so in writing and indicate why we wanted to meet him,” said an agitated Gachagua.

The MP said communities around Mt Kenya and Aberdare forests face water shortages because of the operation.

For the past week, officers from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the Water Resources Authority have been enforcing an order by the Water ministry to disconnect  unauthorised intakes from from rivers in the two forests.

“We are not opposed to the ministry’s order to disconnect illegal connections but the way KFS is going about it is both inhumane and unlawful,” said the MP.

More than 30 intakes have been disconnected along rivers Sagana and Thegu, which have their origin in Mt Kenya.

Environment ministry officials have claimed that there are more than 600 abstraction intakes on rivers originating in the two forests.

“It was also observed that the water being abstracted was not metered and had numerous leakages. According to the officials, the exercise is being undertaken to pave the way for an audit of all the intakes and to establish the rivers’ carrying capacity.

The operation to cut off water connections in Kirinyaga was halted after it was established that some of the intakes supplied schools and hospitals. Gichugu MP Gichimu Githinji pleaded with KFS for more time to find a solution.

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