Mandera Governor Ali Roba has cancelled contracts of contractors in the county who had done shoddy work.
Speaking during Jamhuri Day celebrations in Mandera town, which he said, should be used to honour security personnel who have sacrificed their lives to protect Kenyans, Mr Roba also said a process had been initiated to sack his county government staff who engage in graft.
“The contractors we have entrusted with the contracts to build the various projects in this town have failed us completely. They have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they do not have the resource power and the discipline to undertake heavy capital projects in government,” Mr Roba said.
He added: “Most of them have continued lying to the general public that they have stopped the projects due to lack of payments. I stand before you today to categorically state that none of them have pending certificate of part completion that is unpaid and in fact the record will indicate that we have kept on carrying forward the funds meant for the completion of these projects year after year.”
“Finally, their act of shame has become unbearable for the county to tolerate any longer. All their contracts have expired naturally and the county has no intention of renewing them,” Mr Roba said.
The governor who was re-elected on Jubilee Party ticket said the contractors had been informed of the move.
“We made our intention of not renewing known to all of them and Insha’Allah we shall re-tender these projects very soon. We shall soon complete these heavy capital projects by engaging competent contractors with the resource power to do these jobs.”
On sacking of workers, Mr Roba said his administration is cracking the whip on “our staff in an attempt to entrench honesty and commitment in efficient service delivery to our people.”
“We are aware that the process, which inevitably involves disciplinary action including demotions, transfers, reshuffles, dismissals and prosecution, will very likely create discomfort amongst the workforce and some members of the public,” he said.
He said the process will be impartial and that it is to improve government efficiency and ensure a workforce free of corruption and impunity.
He accused some individuals of using clannism and propaganda to stall the process.
“The culture of impunity is over and the professionalism of our workforce will be non-negotiable. No one who is called to account should ever hide under the false claim that their community or group is under siege. Your community or group was not there when you were stealing,” Mr Roba said.
He went on: “Corruption is corrosive: it has brought us destructive ethnic politics which associate public office with the accumulation of wealth creating an environment that has turned into a plague that is so contagious that societal corruption is becoming an acceptable norm within our communities in Kenya. We will not defeat corruption unless we all keep our eyes on the prize which is that of a County in which corruption is shunned by all.”
He attributed the current improvement of security in Mandera that has suffered from frequent Al-Shabaab attacks to President Kenyatta’s intervention.
He spelt out his government commitment to development by focusing on health, water, agriculture and livestock, social protection, strengthening of ECDE and establishment of essential colleges in partnership with the National Government and enhancing cross border trade as well as inter-county trade amongst our neighbours and communities respectively.
He urged President Kenyatta to help the county establish a regional veterinary college, connect to the national electricity grid, complete the connection to the fibre optic network for all sub-counties and establishment of fully fledged joint border between Bullahawa and Mandera, Suftu and Mandera and Bullahawa and Elwak.
Mr Roba is also vouching for the building of Kutulo-Mandera, Mandera-Lafey, Qofole-Wargadud, Takaba-Banisa-Rhamu, and Rhamu –Malka-Mari roads.
Others are construction of an international airport, Regional Cancer Treatment Center, multipurpose dam on River Daua and at least two bridges across River Daua at Malka-Suftu and Rhamu, completion of the Technical University and the Medical Training College.
Mr Roba said his government is investing in Technical and Vocational Education and Training to create jobs for youth.
The governor also reached out to his opponents to join him in developing the county.
Mr Roba was happy with county’s performance in the 2017 KCPE, saying it had 5,344 candidates of which 3,393 were boys and 1,951 Were girls and attained a means score of 234.68, an improvement of +22.96 compared to 2016 KCPE performance.
He said Mandera teachers training college and Mandera technical training institute are both operational through the support of his government. It is projected that Mandera Teachers Training College will present more than 100 students for P1 exams by September 2018.