Counties invest billions in stalled projects

Auditor-General Edward Ouko reacts during a session with the Building Bridges Initiative Task Force at KICC in Nairobi on January 30, 2019. He says counties are directing public funds towards fake projects. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • In Nandi, the construction of the governor’s office has stalled after the contractor was paid Sh97 million, about 94 per cent of the contract amount.
  • In Nyamira County, the construction of Manga Stadium amounting Sh62 million that was supposed to end December 2015 is not yet complete.

Billions of shillings of taxpayers’ funds are still being pumped into moribund projects that have stalled across counties.

Sunday Nation investigations have also revealed that unscrupulous county officials are still making payments to contractors who left sites several years ago or for projects already condemned.

A number of the stalled projects are captured in the financial year 2017/2018 reports released by Auditor-General Edward Ouko.

In one of the payments, Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis government paid Sh16m to a contractor who abandoned the stalled Kabarnet Stadium.

“The contractor was not on site and no materials or workers were seen at the site as an indication of work in progress,” the recently released Auditor-General’s report for the financial year 2017/2018 indicates.


The county government of Baringo also entered into a Sh27.8m contract on April 7, 2014 for the construction of the Barwesa Slaughterhouse in Baringo North Sub-County.

As at June 30, 2018, the contractor had been paid Sh18.4 million out of the contract sum of Sh27.8 million yet he had largely done nothing at the site.

In Nandi, the construction of the governor’s office has stalled after the contractor was paid Sh97 million, about 94 per cent of the contract amount.

The county also varied the cost by an additional Sh21 million to accommodate an additional floor whose construction has also stalled after the contractor demobilised from site.

In 2015, Governor Cyprian Awiti-led county government of Homa Bay entered into a deal for the construction of Kadongo-Gendia Road to bitumen standards at a total cost of Sh687 million.

Three companies, Nairobi Logistics and Construction Company (Sh240m), Bridgestone Construction Company (Sh207m) and Pepeta Holdings Limited (Sh239.3m), won the tender that was to run for 12 months commencing in October 2015 and ending in October 2016 with each of them constructing 11 kilometres of tarmac.


The contractors failed to finish most of the works. When auditors came to inspect the roads, in their report, they wrote:

“The tarmacked section is poorly done and is already peeling off, a sign of poor marksmanship.” This was just in less than a year after the completion of the works.

In its defence, Governor Awiti’s government claims that the project is still running. However, they failed to produce evidence of contract extension to support the claim.

In January 23, 2017, Machakos County awarded a contract amounting to Sh11 million for the construction of a microwave and shredder houses to safeguard machines from the vagaries of weather.

Despite the project stalling, the county paid Sh4.9 million to the contractor last year, payments which were not supported by any completion certificates.

In Nairobi, Governor Mike Sonko has been unable to complete stalled projects amounting to Sh592m.


The projects include the construction of perimeter wall at Mji wa Huruma and construction of 17 ECDE classes. The others are rehabilitation and construction of various roads within the city.

In June 2015, the county government of Kajiado entered into a Sh198 million deal for the construction of a modern sports complex in Ngong town.

So far, Sh37 million has been paid for the project. But no works have been done at the sports complex since June 2016.

In Samburu, the county paid 96 per cent of the contract sum, Sh256 million for the construction of county government office block, yet the contractor had abandoned the site leaving incomplete works.

In Kiambu, stalled projects include the construction of Kikuyu Level IV hospital (Sh211m), Thogoto Ndaire Road (Sh181m), Kimbo-Matangini Road (Sh170m), Limuru Hawkers market (Sh14m), community hall in Kiambu Township (Sh14m), rehabilitation of Kanjai road (Sh145m) and the refurbishment of Gikambura and Ruiru football stadiums at a cost of Sh38m.


Governor Charity Ngilu’s Kitui County government paid Sh20 million for the construction of a mortuary at Mwingi Level 4 Hospital.

The contractor received the funds but abandoned the mortuary before fixing windows.

Despite receiving Sh41 million out of the contract sum of Sh43 million, the firm constructing the outpatient block at Kitui Referral Hospital demobilised from the site without completing the building.

Governor Josphat Nanok is on the spot for stalled projects amounting to Sh170 million.

They include the construction of Kanaodon Surface Water Irrigation Scheme (Sh74.5m), building of Lorugum social hall (Sh19m), and construction of the Nakalale Ward Administrators office at a cost of Sh12 million.

In Kilifi County, residents might not receive value for money on projects worth Sh622 million as some are poorly done, incomplete, while others are complete but not in use.


In Vihiga County, Sh13 million was planned for the construction of a mortuary at Mbale Hospital but according to Dr Ouko “physical verification of the project on November 12, 2018 revealed that the contractor had done up to roofing level, and the contract period had long lapsed and no extension period for the project had been done”.

The county government of Narok remitted Sh605 million to primary and secondary schools and early childhood learning centres for the construction of classrooms, laboratories, dormitories and other school infrastructure, but to date the structures are not complete and no work is currently being done at the sites.

In Nyeri, the county entered into a deal worth Sh6 million for the construction of Kirimukuyu footbridge.

Despite receiving payments including for works not done, the contractor only erected pillars and then abandoned the site.

So far, the county government of Mandera has paid Sh484 million for various projects that have stalled and for which contractors are not on site.

They include the construction of the governor’s residence, Mandera County Assembly, Regional Livestock Market and Rhamu water supply project.


The county government of Kericho has also spent Sh18 million for various stalled projects among them the fencing of Kipkelion coffee farm, paddocking of Chelimo showground and construction of a waste treatment pineapple plant at Roret.

In Trans Nzoia, the construction of the Sh355 million Main Kitale Bus park has stalled after the county paid Sh228 million.

The contractor of the Sh732 million Trans Nzoia County Teaching and Referral Hospital-Kitale also abandoned the site in June last without giving any reasons to the county. He had already been paid Sh377 million.

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan’s county has spent Sh88 million on the stalled improvement of Mwabundu road and in the construction of a 30-bed capacity hospital at Vikwatani, with fears that public funds amounting to Sh150 million meant for the projects may go to waste.


In Nyamira County, the construction of Manga Stadium amounting Sh62 million that was supposed to end December 2015 is not yet complete.

In Embu County, a total of Sh9.9 million is feared to have gone to waste in the construction of Kavutiri Coffee Factory road.

In Garissa County, construction at the Sh26 million Balambala-Denyere road has stalled.

In Busia, Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’s county paid Sh11 million for the extension of water pipelines, most of which are not connected to any water source.

More than Sh31 million was paid for the construction of a pavilion at Kamariny stadium in Elgeyo Marakwet County but a physical verification of the project revealed that it was incomplete.

In Uasin Gishu County, works on the Sh15.3 million Kiborokwo-Kepng’etuny bridge have stalled despite payments to the contractor amounting to Sh8.3 million.