In Summary
  • Nandi Senator Cherargei sought to know the reasons that led to the variation of expressway thus pushing the cost from Sh65.2 billion to Sh72.8 billion.
  • He also wants Transport CS Macharia to disclose and explain any other government projects whose costs have been varied.
Motorists on the Nairobi Expressway on Saturday, May 12, 2022.
Motorists on the Nairobi Expressway on Saturday, May 12, 2022.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

Senators are reading mischief in the move by the government to incur Sh9 billion in repairing Mombasa Road damaged during the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.

The lawmakers want the contractor of the expressway – China Road and Bridge Construction Company – to bear the cost of rehabilitating the road.

They said putting the cost of rebuilding the road on taxpayers amounts to wastage of public funds given that the company has already been paid for constructing the expressway.

They said the company damaged the road and should bear the cost of repairing it.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, who petitioned the Senate Committee on Roads and Transportation, wants the panel to summon Transport CS James Macharia and Kenha bosses to explain why taxpayers should shoulder the cost.

The vocal lawmaker wants Macharia to explain why the cost of rehabilitating and improving the old road was not captured in the initial cost of building the expressway.

Cherargei sought to know the reasons that led to the variation of expressway thus pushing the cost from Sh65.2 billion to Sh72.8 billion.

The legislator also wants Macharia to disclose and explain to the committee any other government projects whose costs have been varied.

He said the CS should provide a definite timeline on completion of the renovations and rehabilitations works.

The ministry, he added, should also give clear guidance on the usage of the Nairobi Expressway, especially to emergency services such as fire engines, ambulances and use by VIPs.

During the opening of the 27.1km expressway last Saturday, Macharia said his ministry has set aside Sh9 billion to repair Uhuru Highway, Mombasa Road and Wayiaki Way damaged during construction.

Macharia said the cash would be investments for additional features on the old road, including a Bus Rapid Transit system, as well as lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We are going to enhance the old road – all the way from Mlolongo to Westlands – to make sure motorists who do not use the expressway also have a more dignified road,” he said.

Kilifi Senator Steward Madzayo said there is something fishy in handpicking the company to do the work.

“The contractor of the expressway came to Kenya and found when we already had our roads. Now they destroyed our roads and it is just good that the person who damaged it should repair it,” he said.

Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki said the government should advertise for the job and follow the procurement processes instead of dishing out the tender.

“This contract must be awarded in the right ways through tendering. It will wrong and wastage of public money for such a project to be done without tendering,” Faki said.

Nominated Senator Getrude Musuruve asked the Transport committee to thoroughly probe the company that was awarded the contract without due process to repair the road it damaged.

 

(edited by Amol Awuor)

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