Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui Mwenda has vowed to push for the blacklisting and deportation of foreign road contractors engaging in unethical practices and doing shoddy jobs in the area.
Mwenda said the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) had noted a growing trend, where a section of foreign road contractors were deliberately failing to honour completion timelines and quality standards.
He further observed that some of the contractors had been found not to cooperate with officials from state agencies such as Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) and National Construction Authority (NCA) who are charged with ensuring compliance of standards in road construction projects.
“The attitude of these rogue contractors is stalling progress of works in some areas. They do not prepare progress reports and have been unnecessarily asking for extension of completion periods even where substantial proportions of payments have been made. These contractors have conveniently forgotten that state agencies supervise the works on behalf of the Kenyan taxpayer,” noted Mwenda.
On some sites we have encountered idle and malfunctioning machinery which we suspect is strategically stationed to hoodwink the public that works are in progress. The amount of work done by these rogue expatriate contractors does not equate value for payments already made,” he lamented.
The county commissioner who spoke after CDICC conducted an audit on road construction projects in Njoro, Rongai, Nakuru Town West, Nakuru Town East and Molo Sub-Counties said he was in talks with officials from the Ministry of interior to have rogue contractors work permits canceled.
“Some of these foreign contractors who were previously doing very high quality jobs are now uncooperative, lazy and inefficient. We will not only have them deported but we will engage relevant authorities to have these individuals de-registered and barred from future jobs.
We are now dealing with numerous complaints against these rogue contractors who do not complete work on schedule and show open disrespect for government officers mandated to supervise road construction works, ” observed Mwenda.
He exonerated a number of other foreign contractors who he said were still upholding high quality workmanship in carrying out projects in the County.
Mwenda, who was accompanied by Nakuru Town West Member of Parliament Samuel Arama, said delay of construction of roads has undermined efforts to improve the lives of Kenyans and create employment opportunities for the youth.
He said the Government is paying special attention on implementation and completion of projects that create direct positive impact on the lives of Kenyans and would not relent in its commitment to open up interior parts of the county for development.
“These contractors should respect the Kenyan taxpayer as they have been awarded jobs running into billions of shillings. The upgrading and improvement of roads is intended to spur development and improve economic status of our people,” said County Commissioner.
Arama called on the government to factor in costs of constructing major projects and refurbishment of feeder roads. He also called on contractors to ensure that they clear debris from sites which he said ends up clogging drainages.
“When feeder roads are catered for in separate budgetary allocations, it makes the projects to be very costly. In future major projects should encompass feeder roads that accompany them,” added the MP.
By Anne Mwale