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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 21 September 2014


Leo Odera Omolo

Scores of people were injured when angry youths attacked construction workers at Kendu Bay town in Rachuonyo North district in Homa-Bay county recently.
The construction workers were working for a contractor building the Rachuonyo Showground site. The youths were claiming that the locals have been sidelined since the construction work on the site was given to outsiders, mainly the workers sourced from Kisii county.
The main contractor who  won the tender from the county government is a Pebly Ogola, who hails from the neighbouring central Karachuonyo ward, but he had subcontracted contractors from Kisii county who sourced the manpower from their county. Ogola has also won other county government tenders to upgrade four roads within Kendu-Bay.
The award of the tenders sparked protest by the locals who claim they too are qualified and registered contractors who could do the work. They question the rationale of tender awards by the county government which they claimed was biased and corrupt. The night before the incident, Ogola was reportedly assaulted by unknown youths at a bar and restaurant in Kendu-Bay town.
Police were called to the scene but arrived long after the assailants had disappeared into the nearby villages. No arrest has been made since. Police from Kendu-Bay are investigating the incident.
Central Kendu-Bay ward MCA, Odhiambo Otieno and Governor Cyprian Awiti could not be reached for comment. The ward has an allocation of Sh 14.9 million for its developmental projects but locals are bitterly complaining that all tenders  were dished out to outsiders whereas they have their own people who are duly registered as contractors who could do the jobs.
The contractor is also facing accusations that he had already been paid in advance for one of the roads tender awarded to his company yet the work had not been completed.
Other complaints raised so far include the unconfirmed claims that nearly all the MCAs have registered their own construction and supplies companies for the purpose of awarding themselves tenders either through relatives, proxies or their wives
There are also allegations that nearly all members of the executives, senior staff  and office secretaries have also secured  business within the county with their own registered companies  for the purpose of allocating themselves tenders for the supplies and construction. The tender for the construction of Rachuonyo Show Ground allegedly was not advertised as prescribed by law.

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