Complete projects now or get blacklisted, commissioner warns Western contractors

Western Regional Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru (second left) when he led a team of government and PDU officers in touring key projects under construction in Vihiga County. He warned contractors working on key Jubilee government projects that they will be blacklisted for slow implementation pace.

Photo credit: Derick Luvega | Nation Media Group.

Western Regional Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru has warned contractors working on key Jubilee government projects that they risk being blacklisted or sued for projects completed late.

Mr Nakoru put on notice M/s Bridgestone Construction Company, which is tarmacking the Sh1 billion Mbale-Mbihi-Magada-Luanda road, saying it was behind schedule.

He also asked Nariana Enterprises Limited that is tarmacking the Sh943.2 million Gisambai-Hamisi-Shamakhokho road to expedite its work as time is running out.

The warning comes as work on the Mago-Mululu-Wangulu road that was ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2021 in honour of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi's mother, Hannah Atsianzale, is yet to commence.

The Sh1 billion contract was awarded to M'Big Limited.

Mr Nakoru issued the warning while on a tour to assess the status of government projects.

He was accompanied by county commissioners Susan Waweru (Vihiga) and John Ondego (Kakamega) and Derrick Angehi, the Western/Nyanza director of the Presidential Delivery Unit.

He said the tour was prompted by numerous calls from residents over slow implementation of projects in the region.

The tour comes as the Jubilee government is in a rush to complete key projects before President Kenyatta’s term in office ends.

"We want to warn the contractor on the Mbale-Mbihi-Magada road to work as it is expected. If not, we will take action that includes taking away the contact or taking him to court for sleeping on the job yet funds have been paid by the government," said Mr Nakoru.

He went on: "The laxity on the job is giving the government a bad name. The work is expected to be completed but it is behind schedule.

"Contractors who are sleeping on the job risk being blacklisted because the government wants value for money."

Weekly reports

On the ongoing works on the Gisambai-Hamisi-Shamakhokho road, Mr Nakoru noted that progress was impressive but said time was running out.

He directed site engineers to provide weekly reports indicating progress.

He also asked county development committees to meet regularly so as to address emerging issues.

"We have started inspecting development projects especially in the roads sector after we received complaints and concerns over slow progress of work,” he said.

“We have met contractors and others kept away but we have learnt that issues raised by the public are a true reflection of what is happening on the ground."

The tarmacking of the 19.3km Mbale-Mbihi-Magada-Luanda road is expected to open up the remote interior of Vihiga County by linking it to the busy Kisumu-Kakamega and Kisumu-Busia highways.

The Gisambai-Hamisi-Shamakhokho road will link the interior of Hamisi sub-county to the Kisumu-Kakamega highway and the Chavakali-Kapsabet-Eldoret road.

The Mago-Mululu-Wangulu road is expected to open the centre of Sabatia constituency by linking it to the Kisumu-Kakamega highway and the Chavakali-Kapsabet-Eldoret road.

The three roads and the Sh1.8 billion Vihiga cluster water project are the main ones being undertaken by the Jubilee government in ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi's home county.

The roads that are being supervised by the Kenya Rural Roads Authority signal hopes that the region's economy will take off after decades of waiting.

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