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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Another row brews up in Nyamira county as jobs taskforce dismissed

A row is brewing between Nyamira county government and contractors over the nonpayment of their money totaling to over Sh500 million for the county projects they have done in the last five months.
Recently, emotions ran high and tempers flared during a meeting between contractors and members of the county executive committee called at Guardian Hotel to address the crisis which had threatened to derail the completion of development of projects in the whole county.
The meeting which was chaired by the county executive committee member in charge of health Andrew Ombati and attended by his water and environment  counterpart Reuben Sinange, chief officers Ernest Mokua, lands, Alice Manoti, public administration and Richard Okeyo, public works  nearly turned chaotic  after  the charged contractors  demanded answers of the delay of payment of their money.
The officers had a hectic time convincing the contractors the circumstances and logistics surrounding the delayed payment of the money in question and yet they had done their part.
Ombati told the contractors that the county executive arm of the government was not happy with the work some of them were doing.
He said that some contractors had done shoddy work which was not reflecting the amount of money they have been given by the county government.
Ombati said that worse still, some contractors have not moved to the ground despite being given part of the payment and promised the county government could blacklist those involved followed by subsequent action taken against them.
Ombati noted that due to the shoddy job done by the contractors, the county government has been portrayed as nonperforming a move he said as a government they would not accept.
He gave a reprieve to some contractors who have done their work well and said that they could be given funds by the county government to complete their projects.
“Those contractors who have done their work up to 70pc could be given more allocations so that they can complete the remaining parts,” he stated.
Sinange on his part warned that the county government could not afford to pay contractors who were doing substandard work.
He said that the funds given to contractors were public funds and therefore they must be used properly by reflecting the same good work on the ground.
Okeyo who is the chief officer in the department of roads and public works named the departments of health and education were work given to some contractors was yet to start.
Contractors led by Charles Ondieki, George Morara and John Kebaso accused the county government of favouring some contractors when it came to giving out tenders and payments.
The trio questioned why some contractors had been overpaid while others have not been paid even one project that they have done.
Ondieki alias threatened to name contractors who were being favoured because of giving out kickbacks.
It also emerged that during the stormy meeting, nepotism was said to be rampant when it comes giving out contracts.
The contractors also dismissed a taskforce which was recently appointed by Governor John Nyagarama to investigate the quality of work which the contractors were doing.
They termed the taskforce led by Francis Nyagari as a political tool of the governor which was meant to loot funds from the county coffers.
Ondieki said that as contractors, they would not recognise the taskforce which he said was out hunt contractors who were not politically correct with the governor.
He claimed that the taskforce is made of compromised cronies of governor Nyagarama.
The contractors said that the work purported to be done by the taskforce should be done by the monitoring and evaluation department.
The county executive committee admitted that the county had a crisis of engineers and asked those interested to apply for the jobs which they said were ready and available so as to facilitate the implementation of projects in the area.