Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki has asked leaders of five counties that benefited from Sh500 million grant each for the construction of headquarters to end disputes and let the work continue.
Speaking at Kathwana town in Chuka/Igambang’ombe constituency on Monday, the Tharaka-Nithi Senator said buildings in Tharaka-Nithi, Isiolo, Taita Taveta, Tana River and Nyandarua counties had stalled even after the government released the money.
He said in some counties, leaders had failed to agree on where the buildings should be erected, while in others, procurement processes were marred with irregularities.
He said that some county governments had disputes with contractors.
“I urge the leadership of the five counties to end the wrangles so that these buildings can be completed,” said Prof Kindiki.
He said the national government agreed to finance the five poor counties following a motion that he sponsored in the Senate when he was the Senate majority leader.
Prof Kindiki said the Tharaka-Nithi County building was going on well until the incumbent county leadership sought to change the contractor, leading to a court battle. They claimed that contractor was very slow.
He asked Governor Muthomi Njuki to allow the contractor, Terra Craft Kenya Limited, to finish the work to avoid a prolonged court battle that is likely to make the construction work stall for a long time.
He said already Sh150 million had been used in the five-storey building. This year, the National Treasury released Sh121 million.
The legislator said the rest of the money will be released in the next financial year.
He also asked Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to quickly conclude investigations on alleged irregularities in procurement of a contractor for Sh340 million, Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly building at Kathwana that has stalled for more than two years.
The senator said it was embarrassing for the county assembly to continue holding sessions in chambers made of iron-sheets in the seventh year of devolution.
“We want the stalemate to come to an end to enable MCAs to move to descent chambers and officers working from Chuka town to relocate to Kathwana,” he said.
He noted that national government had also released Sh50 million for construction of county commissioner’s offices at Kathwana and work was ongoing.
He said the county commissioner, county police commander and all other county departmental heads are expected to move to Kathwana from Chuka by next year.