The Kenya Rural Roads Authority in Kisii County has been put on the spot over alleged complacency in dealing with the rogue contractors of government projects in the area.
The County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) in the area accused the agency of laxity in taking decisive procedural action against the contractor who had stalled projects thereby delaying effective service to wananchi.
This happened after the Regional Deputy Director, Eng. Robert Mule reported to the committee that the agency had not issued a second notice as required to Mahan Limited, the contractor who had allegedly stalled the progress of Sosera-Ramasha-Ekona-Kiomiti road.
The CDICC meeting presided by the area County Commissioner (CC), Stephen Kihara raised concern over the 15 km project in Nyaribari Masaba Sub County which was supposed to be upgraded to bitumen standards, saying it was behind schedule with only 11.3 per cent of works done.
The Presidential Delivery Director Melchizedek Onguso queried why the agency had not issued a second notice in December 2019 to the contractor as was expected, 28 days after the first one.
Mule’s quick rejoinder that the relevant senior authorities were on leave during the time did not go down well with the committee which demanded to know how office matters failed to continue when an officer was on leave.
“Leave is not an excuse, just allow us escalate the matter using other means to make sure services are rendered to Mwananchi,” said Kihara.
The committee noted that some government projects were delaying not because of delayed payments which cause contractors to suspend works, but also because they realize notices are not issued according to procedures and therefore legal action cannot be taken against them.
Mule cited other challenges that had caused the project which started on September 3 2019 to delay as contractor’s poor organization, erratic procurement of essential supplies including fuel, and lack of requisite resources.
Mule explained that Mahan Limited had written to the agency on December 16, 2019 explaining the reasons for delayed works including harsh and unexpected weather conditions stopping all earthworks, but noted that the contractor had not resumed works by first week of January this year as promised.
Once complete, the road which starts at Sosera Market at the Kisii/Kilgoris road and takes a Southwesterly direction to terminate at Kiomiti on the same road is meant to facilitate transport, communication and trade between market centers and towns.
The meeting was also attended by Regional Kenya Urban Roads Authority Regional boss, Eng. Edwin Lekariap, the Chief Executive Officer for National Environment Management Authority, Hesbon Monda, the County Criminal Investigations Officer, Geoffrey Kathurima, the County Coordinator National Lands Commission, Andrew Rotich and Kenya Power and Lighting Company Business manager, Mang’era Moronge among others.
By Jane Naitore