SH. 11 BILLION DEBT ROW

No pay for Sh1.1 bn contracts until EACC releases documents, Kitui county says

They said they are undergoing "serious psychological and financial trauma".

In Summary

•The 81 contractors were awarded contracts during former Governor Julius Malombe's administration

• Contractors say they owe Sh1,074,480,651 billion, but Katungi says they are entitled to Sh650 million

The affected contractors who owe Kitui government upto Sh. 1.1 billion during the Tuesday press conference at an hotel in Kitui town.
SH. 1.1 B BEBT The affected contractors who owe Kitui government upto Sh. 1.1 billion during the Tuesday press conference at an hotel in Kitui town.
Image: MUsembi Nzengu

Eight one contractors who were awarded contracts worth nearly Sh1.1 billion by Kitui government will have to wait longer to receive their pay.

County acting Treasury executive Ben Katungi they are not able to pay because all the documents related to the contracts were carted away by EACC sleuths who are investigating the way the contracts were awarded.

The road works and drift contracts in question were awarded in 2015-16 but became a subject of investigations by the EACC.

Representatives of the contractors on Tuesday, however, said the EACC had long cleared the Kitui government to pay them.

Through a statement by the Kitui Contractors Association and read to the media by Sylvester Kimasyu, the businessmen demanded immediate payment.

They said they are undergoing "serious psychological and financial trauma".

Katungi downgraded the amount owed by the 81 contractors to about Sh650 million and not Sh1.1 million as claimed but said the businessmen will have to wait until EACC delivered the documents related to the contracts and clear them for payment.

During the Tuesday press conference, the chairperson of the Kitui Contractors Association Nelly Mutisya issued an ultimatum to the county to pay up within a week lest they face "the mother of all demonstrations".

“Personally, I had my good car and a developed plot acquired by a bank and were sold off because I could not pay,” Mutisya said.

The association secretary Mbondo Mwania, who is disabled, said most of the contractors had acquired bank loans which they are unable to service, resulting in their property being actioned.  

“On my part, I got a Sh5 million loan from KCB and I am struggling to pay. The balance now stands at Sh2 million,” he said.

Silvester Kimasyu and the Kitui Contractors association secretary Mbondo Mwania during the Tuesday press conference at an hotel in Kitui town.
SH. 1.1 B BILL Silvester Kimasyu and the Kitui Contractors association secretary Mbondo Mwania during the Tuesday press conference at an hotel in Kitui town.
Image: Musembi Nzengu