HURDLES ON ROAD

Activists want to stop Bungoma highway

Activists say 6.5km road project is illegal

In Summary

• Lobbyists want interpretation of roles of national government vis-a-vis those of county government with regard the road

• They accuse county government of violating Constitution and failure to conduct environmental assessment and public participation

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati with Chinese contractors
DEAL: Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati with Chinese contractors
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

The planned Sh1.38 billion Bungoma dual carriageway is facing a hurdle after  rights activists petitioned court to block it.

 

A Kisumu court  set April 30 as an inter-parties hearing date between Bungoma county government and human rights activists on the expansion of Bungoma road into a dual carriageway.

On April 11, human rights activists John Wekesa and Raphael Makokha obtained orders to serve the county government for an inter-parties hearing that might stop works on the Musikoma-Kanduyi road that will cost the county government Sh1.38 billion.

 

The lobbyists sought interpretation of the functions of the national government vis-a-vis those of the county government with regard of construction of the road from Sang’alo to Kanduyi.

The duo accuse the county government of violating the Constitution and relevant laws and failure to conduct environmental assessment and public participation.

In the petition dated April 9, Wekesa and Makokkha have sued Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, roads CEC Collins Mukhongo, chief officer Maurice Marango, director general KenHA, the Attorney General and the Controller of Budget.

The lobbyists want the respondents, their employees, servants, agents and contractors barred from commencing and or continuing with construction of the dual carriageway.

“We want the court to pronounce itself on the separation of powers principle between functions and roles of the county government of Bungoma and the national government as set out in Article 187 and Schedule 4 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 vide its agency KENHA on matters pertaining the construction, expansion and maintenance of Musikoma -Kanduyi junction dual carriageway section of the longer Bungoma-Mumias highway,” the petition reads.

 

The activists say the respondents acted contrary to provisions of the Constitution, the Roads Act 2007, Environmental Management and Coordination Act 1999, Nema regulations on ESIA, the County Government Act 2012, Public Finance Act 2012, Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015 and other laws.

The petitioners want the court to interpret whether the county government acted lawfully in awarding a contract for the dual carriageway.

 

Already a Chinese construction company is on site in Musikoma.

As the activists went to court, Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, roads CEC Collins Mukhongo and MCAs held a public participation forum  in Musikoma.

“This is one of our flagship projects and we will proceed with the road works to save our people from death and injuries as a result of accidents on the narrow road. We have finalised everything and followed all the procedures enshrined in the law,” Mukhongo said.