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Residents irked by contractor for slow pace of tarmacking road

Previous  works at the Gatukuyu-Kairi-Mataara road in Gatundu North that was launched in February 2018 yet to be completed. Photo by Charles Muoki/KNA.

Gatundu North residents want the contractor tarmacking the Sh.1.5 billion Gatukuyu-Kairi-Mataara road kicked out for allegedly lacking capacity to complete the project.

Led by their area MP, Wanjiku Kibe, they complained that Wak Ltd, that was contracted by Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) to tarmac the 30 kilometres stretch has failed and should have the contract cancelled.

They said since the launch, the contractor has done only 10 kilometres of the road and has since left the sight and taken away his machines.

The project was launched in February 2018 by Deputy President, William Ruto and was to be completed by June last year.

It was meant to link several villages and spur economic growth of the agricultural zone that has over 50,000 farmers who use the road to transport tea, coffee, milk, avocado, and maize among other crops to their homes and market.

On several occasions, residents have held demonstrations to demand cancellation of the contractor’s contract but in vain. They have been complaining that even the tarmacked stretch is impassable during rainy seasons due to the many potholes that have already developed.

“Potholes are all over the place that has been tarmacked, making the road impassable. This is the only road we can count as having been tarmacked in the area but still the delay, shoddy job being done is quite unfortunate,” said Martin Gakumo, a poultry farmer who uses the road.

Kibe called for the contractor to be blacklisted from doing government projects for his poor workmanship and incompetence.

She said despite the government paying the contractor all his dues, Wak Ltd has failed to deliver adding that he lacks the capacity to complete the project.

“Currently the government doesn’t owe the contractor any unpaid dues for work done and it’s alleged once he gets paid he diverts the money to personal projects leaving the people of Gatundu North to suffer. That is why his contract should be cancelled,” she said.

She said efforts to seek redress from the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and the Ministry of Infrastructure have been futile adding that the authority has so far given the contractor three warning letters.

“I recommend that they go ahead and terminate this contract,” she stated.

By Muoki Charles

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