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Contractors who abandon projects risk arrest, Birik now warns

The  North Eastern Regional Commissioner (RC), Mohamed Birik has issued a stern warning to contractors who abandon government projects midway that they risk arrest and prosecution.

Speaking  when he Chaired the Regional Implementation and Coordination Committee meeting at his Board Room Tuesday on , Birik said it is emerging that some contractors who do not have the capacity to undertake projects falsify information to win tenders.

“This committee has noted with exceptional concern that a number of government projects that were awarded over two years ago have been abandoned by the contractors after they received partial payment,” he said.

“This committee will act tough and decisively on such contractors. The government must get value for its money,” Birik  added.

The  RC said that although a few contractors are giving government projects a bad name, there are exceptionally good ones who have delivered their projects in good time and within the specifications.

Birik  said soon the committee will hold a meeting with all government contractors in the region where he will read them the riot act.

“We want the contractors to understand the government position before they apply for jobs. If you know that you can’t deliver then keep off,” he said.

Among  the projects the  RC raised concern with includes the abandoned construction of Technical Vocational and Training Institutes (TVETs) in Balambala and Modogashe.

In  Balambala the contractor who was awarded the project in 2015 has been on and off the site and he has only done slightly over 30 percent.

In  Modogashe, the contractor is said to be contemplating transferring the contract to another contractor because he doesn’t have the capacity to complete it.

Birik  instructed Garissa County Commissioner (CC), Meru Mwangi to personally visit the two projects and give a comprehensive report to the regional committee in two weeks’ time.

The warning comes barely two weeks after he warned contractors who carry out shoddy work that they will not be paid.

President Uhuru Kenyatta while at a meeting with regional and county commissioners in Mombasa late last year said government officials will be held personally responsible if projects were not implemented and delivered as per specifications.

The  President said he will not entertain excuses, noting that government officials are the ‘eyes of the government’ on the ground mandated to ensure that all public projects and programmes succeed.

By  Jacob  Songok

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