Contractors demand dues in stormy meet
Over 100 Vihiga contractors have not been paid. Governor pledges payment
More than 100 contractors demanded Sh2 billion back pay in a stormy meeting on Thursday with Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga.
Akaranga wanted to explain to the more than 100 contractors why they have not received their payments amounting to more than Sh2 billion for the projects completed in 2014.
The meeting was to take place in Akaranga’s office, but the contractors wanted to meet at the county headquarters grounds.
All was well until Akaranga told them the delays had been caused by a technical hitch with IFMIS payment processing.
The contractors stomped their feet and shouted, accusing the county of frustrating them every time they demand their dues.
They questioned why the IFMIS ‘fails’ when they need to be paid, but seems to operate efficiently when salaries are paid. “How come it is only Vihiga IFMIS that fails, yet other counties are paying their contractors using the same system?” a contractorasked.
They told Akaranga to fire the entire finance department staff, accusing them of “doing business with the county” through proxies.
The governor blamed inordinate delays on an ICT expert sent by the state to service the system.
Akaranga asked the contractors to appoint three representatives to meet him yesterday to agree on the payment schedules.
“It is unfortunate the governor takes credit for the roads we have built yet he has not paid us for two years. The county has turned Vihiga contractors into paupers,” a contractor told Akaranga. They are unable to service their loans.
The contractors said county chiefs had registered companies to which they award tenders and pay themselves first.
Central Maragoli MCA Abdallah Chogo and Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga in Kidundu village on May 19 /FILE