Road building firms on the spot for bad work
Road construction companies have been put on the spot for fleecing the country of billions of shillings by entering into projects they cannot complete on time, or pulling out midway, citing financial difficulties. While some sublet the projects, others do shoddy work, forcing the government to get other contractors, at extra cost.
Auditor-general Edward Ouko's report on the accounts of the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) as at June 30, 2017, details how these companies have failed Kenyans.
A case in point is the Kaptama-sirisia Road in Bungoma, for which Sh2.6 billion has already been paid, but there is nothing to show for.
“In the circumstances, it has not been possible to confirm whether the public obtained value for money already incurred,” Mr Ouko said of the contract that was later terminated. The 64-kilometre road project was awarded to KSL International Ltd in 2007, with work expected to begin in June the same year and end by May 2010. But 11 years later, the project is yet to be completed, with Mr Ouko saying the management has not availed information on its current status.
Worse still, the contractor, was put under receivership in 2015. In addition, the contractor was unable to settle Sh3 million in rent arrears owed to the authority for the Mwatunge The cost in billions of shillings already paid for the Kaptama-sirisia Road. There is nothing to show for it. camp in Taita-taveta, which the company had used in another contract. The contractor later filed for mutual winding up of the contract in 2015, saying the remaining money on was not enough to complete the outstanding work, based on design specifications.
The rehabilitation and repair of the Sh818.5 million Kasoiyo-saos-society Road is also incomplete. It was awarded to M/s Bridgestone Construction Company Ltd and was scheduled for completion by February 2016.
“Although the contractor requested for substantial completion inspection in September 2017, the management had not undertaken the same by the time of the audit,” Mr Ouko says. In addition, work worth Sh504.8 million was assigned to another contractor.
The Sh2.1 billion construction of the Murang'a-gitugi and Njumbi-mioro roads are also “unsatisfactory”. The project was awarded to M/s Nyoro Company Ltd in July 2012, and was supposed to be completed in February 2015. But by June 30, 2017, the project was only 47 percent complete, meaning it could lead to escalation of costs. There is also a Sh7 million interest, incurred as a result delayed payments.
Other incomplete projects include the Sh2.5 billiontarmacking of the 45.9 kilometre Naromoru-munyu-karisheni Road awarded to M/s Kirinyaga Construction Ltd 2012.
Vihiga Senator George Khaniri has asked the county government to stop the planned construction of the Sh80 million governor's residence and channel the funds to meaningful projects that would benefit the locals. Speaking at Jepkoyai in Hamisi on Sunday, Mr Khaniri faulted the decision to buy a two-hectare parcel of land on the outskirts of Mbale town at a cost of Sh23.9 million for the building of the governor's mansion, saying the cost was exorbitant. However, Governor Wilber Ottichilo said the residence will be used to conduct official county business.