Nyeri leaders say local contractor should not be awarded road projects in county

Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua (left) and Kieni MP Kanini Kega. They said they had blacklisted Kirinyaga Construction Company and that they would not allow it to undertake any construction within Nyeri County after it failed to complete on time two major roads it had been awarded. FILE PHOTOS | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Governor Nderitu Gachagua and Kieni MP Kanini Kega said they would not allow it to undertake any construction within Nyeri County.
  • On Wednesday last week, the company was forced to allow a Chinese company to undertake the 46 kilometre Narumoru-Karichen road in Kieni.
  • Mr Gachagua said that he was happy that the contractor had agreed to allow the Chinese company to do the work.
  • The contractor was already behind schedule as the due date for completion of the construction work was in October 2014.

Political leaders from Nyeri County led by Governor Nderitu Gachagua have vowed not to allow a local road construction company to be awarded any tender within the county by the National Government.

Mr Gachagua and Kieni MP Kanini Kega said they had blacklisted Kirinyaga Construction Company and that they would not allow it to undertake any construction within Nyeri County after it failed to complete on time two major roads it had been awarded.

“Generally the procurement laws do not allow contractors who do not perform to continue getting new contracts.

"Why should we allow such a company be given another contract in our county yet it has a bad record?” posed Mr Gachagua.

On Wednesday last week, Kirinyaga Construction Company which is owned by former Mathira MP Ephraim Maina was forced to allow a Chinese company to undertake the 46 kilometre Narumoru-Karichen road in Kieni.

The Sh2.4 billion tender to improve the road to bitumen status was awarded to the local company in 2013 and so far only two of the 46 kilometres have been done.

Mr Gachagua said that he was happy that the contractor had agreed to allow the Chinese company to do the work.

He said he was confident the Chinese contractor would do the job perfectly and within the given timeline.

The move might rekindle the old rivalry between Mr Maina and Mr Gachagua who have always crossed paths over their political ambitions within the county.

On his part, Mr Kega said that delays in completion of construction of roads whose tenders are already awarded and poor workmanship are as a result of unwillingness to vet the capability of companies getting the tenders.

“The Narumoru-Karichen road is in my constituency and, being the first road to be tarmacked in Kieni, I will not allow lazy contractors to drag us behind,” he said after witnessing the re-launch of the road construction.

The MP urged the government to be strict when awarding tenders for roads to avoid incompetent and lazy contractors getting them.

Mr Kega was witnessing the handing over of the project to East African Development Engineering Company after Kirinyaga Construction Company admitted they could handle the project.

Resident engineer Paul Githere admitted that Kirinyaga Construction Company failed to do the work as required but also said that there were challenges occasioned by lack of timely payment by the government.

“Delay in payment to contractors by government at times results in delay in finishing their work in time and although this has not been the case with many of the contractors, we may not squarely put all the blame on them,” said Mr Githere.

He said the new contractor, East African Development Engineering and Trading Company Limited was enlisted after the former contractor acknowledged lack of capacity to handle the project.

When contacted for comment, Mr Maina did not answer his phone but his personal assistant, Waigwa Muchiki said that they were the ones who assigned the Chinese company to undertake the contract.

He however did not specify why they did so.

The contractor was already behind schedule as the due date for completion of the construction work was in October 2014.

The new contractor is expected to finish the wok in two years at a cost of Sh2 billion.

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