The Kenya National Highways (KeNHA) is yet again on the spot over the swapping of contractors charged with the responsibility of repair and rehabilitation works to damaged sections of Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way at a cost of Sh9billion.
Initially, the lucrative tender was awarded to the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), a Chinese firm that built the Nairobi Expressway at a cost Sh88billion.
However, over the weekend, KeNHA, through a statement said the repair works are being undertaken by a consortium of three companies.
They include; Moja Expressway Company Ltd, through their Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) Contractor CALE Infrastructure Construction Company.
So far, KeNHA has not clarified how and why the contractors were swapped.
When contacted for comment , KeNHA Director General Engineer Kung’u Ndung’u did not respond to questions on what has necessitated delays of the repair works and whether or not the agency has received disbursement of the allocated Sh9billion kitty from the National Treasury.
Today, while tabling questions to the Ministry of Transport on the floor of the House, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei wondered why the government was footing the bill for the renovations yet the damage was caused by the Nairobi Expressway constructors.
Further, he questioned why the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) did not factor in the cost of the repairs when reviewing the construction of the 27-kilometre road.
The matter was referred to the Senate Committee of Transport.
“The committee should state the contract cost variation for construction of the expressway as well as the impending renovations of the sections of Mombasa road destroyed during the construction as captured in the contract.
“The house should be provided with a comprehensive report on variations on Class A and B road construction in the country and total amounts involved in variation for the last financial years,” he tabled.
Further, the Senator asked the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to detail the exact timelines for the repairs scheduled to be concluded before January 1, 2023.
“They should also provide the guidelines on the usage of Nairobi Expressway, especially on emergency services in order to prevent abuse of the emergency service privilege,” Cherargei asserted.
On his part, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna added that the contractor needed to appear before the committee given the inconveniences motorists faced following the completion of the 27-kilometre Road.
“We barely have two lanes on Mombasa Road. This was a highway. We would want that the constructor is brought before the committee so that they can answer questions regarding the rehabilitation of the highway.
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale however, demanded that the matter should be handled by the whole house adding that more entry points and exit points need to be added.
“This is a matter of great national importance. The contractor should even appear before the committee of the whole house.
“For me, they should explain why motorists cannot find exits to Upperhill and the CBD.” Khalwale noted.