Parliamentary committee summons CS Wamalwa over Thwake dam

By Kevin Wachira

The National Assembly Agriculture Committee has ordered Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to appear in person before the committee to explain the delay in the construction of the Thwake dam in Makueni County.

His principal secretary Nduati Mwangi appearing before the committee disclosed he declined to implement a directive by Wamalwa sanctioning the issuance of the 62 billion shilling tender to a company blacklisted by World Bank and the African Development bank.

Wamalwa is expected to appear before the committee without fail on Thursday.

The committee is querying the delay in the procurement process to facilitate the construction of the largest water dam in Kenya set to be in Makueni County.

Wamalwa, who ‘snubbed’ the summons instead sent ministry official led by his Principal Secretary with a written submission. The committee however rejected his submission on the basis it was unsigned ordering him to instead appear in person.

The development comes as Wamalwa had earlier written a protest letter to clerk of the national assembly accusing the Agriculture Committee of attempting to micromanage his docket.

MPs turned the heat on Wamalwa for writing the protest letter saying it was in bad taste and uncalled for.

The Principal Secretary appearing before the committee revealed he received a memo from the Cabinet Secretary to issue the tender to China Gezhouba group, a company that was blacklisted by the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank.

The Principal Secretary said he declined to effect the directive on the basis that China Gezhouba group of company was under investigation.

MPs faulted the slow performance rate of China Gezhouba Company which also won the tender to construct Muranga water tunnel.

They’re probing why the construction of Thwake dam is yet to begin 3 years after a tender was advertised. Thwake Dam is expected to produce 20 megawatts of electricity to power Konza Tech City as well as provide water to 1.3million households in Makueni, Kitui and Machakos counties.