The outgoing governors are on the spot over stalled, incomplete or unutilised mega projects worth Sh10 billion.
According to the latest report by Auditor General, at least 15 outgoing governors had flagship projects, which have consumed taxpayers’ money, were either poorly done, have stalled or are not being utilised.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu exposes payments dating back to 2014 for works not completed to date in her report for the Financial Year ending June 30, 2020, throwing doubt on whether value for money was realized.
Even as Governor Ali Hassan Joho prepares to leave the stage, a Sh1.8 billion sports complex in Mombasa remains blocked.
The contract was signed on December 28, 2018, with an estimated start date of January 18, 2019, and a three-year term period, according to the audit.
“Records indicate that the contractor was paid Sh88 million in the FY 2019/20 bringing the total payment to Sh132 million as of June 30, 2020,” the audit.
“However, as of the audit in November 2020, the project’s remaining length was 14 months (39 per cent of the contract period) to completion, although only 7 per cent of the works had been completed and paid for,” it continues.
Joho’s county government has also set aside Sh214 million for the construction of Early Childhood Development schools.
The contract had a 32-week length that began in May 2014 and was slated to end in December 2015.
The Executive spent Sh73 million on building construction during the year under review, with Sh11 million going to the establishment of Early Childhood Development Centres.
Only six ECDs had been finished at the time of the audit in November 2020, while the remaining two were still being worked on.
“Under the circumstances, it was not possible for the project to be completed within the remaining period and value for money on the expenditure could not be ascertained,” she said.
The Executive allotted Sh3.6 billion for the implementation of 522 projects in the neighbouring Kwale led by Governor Salim Mvurya, according to a project implementation status report presented for audit review.
The Executive used this money to build a paved road, market sheds, a prayer room, and public restrooms along the beach access route.
The site visit indicated that the projects had halted and that the contractor was not on site, according to the Auditor. “This is a sign of inadequate project planning and project execution management,” she explained.
Governor Patrick Khaemba’s administration in Trans Nzoia had commissioned the construction of the Trans Nzoia Teaching and Referral Hospital, which cost Sh1.4 billion.
Project commenced on December 15, 2017 and was expected to be completed in 62 weeks on February 23, 2019.
Examination of project documents indicated that cumulative payments to the contractor as at December 4, 2020 totalled Sh1.3 billion.
“However, contrary to Section 139(1 & 2) of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposals Act, 2015, there were no records showing that the extension of the contract period was approved after the lapse of the original due date on February 23, 2019,” the audit report.
According to documents, the devolved unit in Kivutha Kibwana’s government completed 31 projects worth Sh63 million during the fiscal year under review.
However, 29 projects worth Sh55 million that were completed were not commissioned. Furthermore, two projects totalling Sh7.8 million had come to a halt.
“No adequate explanation was provided by management for the delay in commissioning the projects. As a result of the delay, public services that the projects were expected to provide were not realised,” the Auditor noted.
Governor Alfred Matua’s government in Machakos launched 27 projects worth Sh775 million in 2018/19 that were supposed to be finished by October 2019 but are either incomplete or postponed.
Two of the projects were still unfinished a year after their respective contract periods expired, according to an audit inspection conducted in November 2020.
“Contracts were for the construction of non-motorised transport facilities and cabro-paving works along Kitui Road and Gregon at Sh45 million and upgrading of Nguluni Centre roads to bitumen standards at a cost of Sh59 million,” the report.
Mutua is also on the scene for a Sh39 million fire station that has yet to be connected to the electric power supply system and hence cannot be used.
An audit in Elgeyo Marakwet revealed that Governor Alex Tolgos’ government has delayed or halted the implementation of over 1,252 projects.
The county had earmarked Sh1.97 billion for eight agencies to finance the projects in the Financial Year 2019-20, according to the report.
However, the respective project status reports indicated that they were behind completion schedules despite the Executive spending Sh841.86 million on June 30, 2020, on 911 of the projects.
Additionally, the costs of implementing the projects could rise due to inflationary and/or other factors.
Economic benefits “Audit inspection of a sample 39 projects budgeted to cost Sh115.89 million in aggregate, with payments totalling Sh102.44 million made as of June 30, 2020, confirmed the completion of 27 whereas 12 projects were incomplete,” the report.
The Executive in Uasin Gishu awarded 13 contracts for Sh229 million for the construction of milk cooling units between May 10 and June 17, 2016, to be completed within six months.
Governor Jackson Mandago’s government, on the other hand, paid Sh43.6 million for the construction of several milk cooling plants, bringing the total expenditures to Sh244 million since commencement.
Outgoing Governor Josephat Nanok of Turkana had set aside Sh132 million for the development of the Modern Business Centre in Lodwar.
The contract was set to last for five years, beginning on May 23, 2016, and ending on June 20, 2020. The contract was paid for with Sh22 million by the Executive.
“However, physical verification of the project in January 2020 confirmed that the contractor had deserted the site and hence the project had stalled for over seven months after its expected completion date,” said the Auditor.