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Bills dispute holds back road project

A dispute over money is holding back the completion of a road project in Embu County that should have been completed two years ago.

The  company building the stalled 11.2 kilometre Kieni-Kathanjuri-Karurumo road says it has run out of cash as the

supervising consultancy has not approved their invoices for work done amounting to Sh.46 million.

But  the consultants, Nicholas O’Dwyer Consulting say they have disputed the amounts West Build Construction Company have demanded and were in the process of verifying the invoices against the work done.

The  two traded accusations when Members of the County Development Implementation and Co-ordination Committee (CIDCC) visited the project to find out why the road serving an important agricultural area in Embu East Sub County has remained incomplete, nearly two years after the contract period lapsed.

The Chairman of the committee, Embu County Commissioner (CC), Abdullahi Galgallo ordered that the two quickly resolve their disputes so that the remaining work on only 2.9 kilometres of the road can be completed.

The road is financed by the  European Union (80 percent) and the Kenya Government (20 per cent).

The  site agent of  Westbuild, Frank Mburu, told the committee that their company had run out of money leading to work stalling on the road and two other similar projects in Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties.

He  added that they would complete the work in less than two months if they got the money they have asked for.

But  Bilbert  Manginet of Nicholas O’Dwyer  accused Westbuild of dishonesty, saying they knew that they had to pay the  employer due penalties for delaying completing the project, saying the penalties were the reason the bills they had raised were in dispute.

The project was to take 18 months beginning in October 2015.

By  Steve  Gatheru

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