'INTERNAL DCI' BLAMED

City Hall owes garbage collectors Sh927 million

Agreements stipulate monthly payments but City Hall delays sometimes up to three months.

In Summary

• County deputy director of Environment Lawrence Mwangi said the county has an internal team that verifies the contracts to arrest any fraudulent claims. 

• Committee of Environment and Natural Resources chairman John Kamau condemned the delay of the payments.

Nairobi county deputy director for Environment Lawrence Mwangi before the assembly's Environment committee on August 7, 2019.
Nairobi county deputy director for Environment Lawrence Mwangi before the assembly's Environment committee on August 7, 2019.
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Nairobi county owes companies contracted to collect garbage Sh927 for the last financial year 2018-2019, the assembly committee on Environment heard Wednesday. 

Contractors appearing before the committee said agreements stipulate monthly payments but City Hall delays sometimes up to three months. 

County deputy director of Environment Lawrence Mwangi said the county has an internal team that verifies the contracts to arrest any fraudulent claims. 

Committee of Environment and Natural Resources chairman John Kamau condemned the delay of the payments.

“This is a tragedy in waiting because if payments are not done in time they will down their tools. We will have uncollected garbage piled up in the city thus risking the lives of city dwellers,” he said 

MCAs also questioned why City Hall needed an ‘internal DCI’ to scrutinise payments of existing garbage contractors before payment.

The investigators were blamed for the delay in payments.

Kamau wondered why investigations were being done on such simple contracts.

“How do you investigate before a crime is detected. If investigations are done that means the department is incompetent,” Mihang'o MCA Paul Kardos said.

Kurdos questioned why the investigators were within the county and not from an independent body like the DCI.

Hard-pressed to explain, Mwangi said that there was no law requiring the county to investigate the contract but they do it to verify payments.

Umoja Two MCA Joseph Ndonji said there might be 'fishy' business going on.

 

Aende Group and Company director Derrick Aende before the assembly's Environment committee on August 7.
Aende Group and Company director Derrick Aende before the assembly's Environment committee on August 7.
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Appearing before the committee, Aende Group and Company director Derrick Aende lamented delays by City Hall to release cash.

“Payments can even take up to three months to process and as contractors it affects us negatively. Since we got into contract last year, we have never been paid consistently,” Aende said.

City Hall contractors supervisor John Malawi admitted that no payment had been done because they have to scrutinise the documents first.

Minority whip Peter Imwatok accused the Environment department of being responsible for the garbage menace in the city.

“You are the problem. If you don't commit to the contractors as per the contract signed regarding payments how do you expect them to clean the city?” he asked.

Malawi said that scrutinising the documents takes a lot of time thus causing the delays.

“We are not the only department that deals with payments and after going through the papers we send the documents to the procurement department. It's not a one day process,” he said.

Imwatok said the Environment department is using intimidation measures against contractors of garbage collection.

“We want to know the chronology of payments and it should be a clear process for the committee to understand,” he said. 

Alex Mbaka from Purlexis Enterprises told the committee that at times they collected garbage from zones that were not included in the initial contracts.

Mbaka said that the contract began on July 31, last year and the first payment of Sh5 million was done in November contrary to the monthly agreement.

However, he said the contract between Purlexis and City Hall is ending this month and he will not be renewing it because of the inconveniences involved.

“I don't think I will renew the contract. I invested heavily and I even lost a piece of land. We came in strong but the delay of payments has really affected us,” he said.

In total, the county owes Purlexis about Sh20 million.

Mbaka said that the company has been providing all the documents necessary for scrutiny but there still were delays.

Dandora Two ward rep Silas Matra told the committee that as of June 30, only a few of the garbage collectors were paid.

Imwatok said that they were aware that some contracts are even paid thrice a day while others have not been paid for almost seven months.

“Payments should be done without malice but with equality,” he said.

(edited by O. Owino)