Con­trac­tors de­mand dues in stormy meet

Over 100 Vi­higa con­trac­tors have not been paid. Gov­er­nor pledges pay­ment

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - HIL­TON OTENYO @hiltonotenyo

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

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