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Nyamira Assembly in hot seat over conflicting reports on stalled construction project

The Nyamira County Assembly is in the eye of a storm after it submitted a misleading report on the progress of the construction of a new building that has stalled since 2017.

Appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts Committee, Assembly Speaker Enock Okero and Clerk Daniel Orina were at pains to explain how much money had been spent on the stalled project and the whereabouts of the contractor.

The assembly submitted a written report whose figures contradicted what was said by both the Speaker and clerk in their oral submissions, much to the chagrin of committee members.

The written progress report indicated that up to 70 per cent of the construction work was complete. “To date the contract is at 70 per cent and a cumulative amount of Sh255 million as per certificate No. 12 dated February 27, 2024, had been paid, out of the total contract sum of Sh367 million,” the written report read in part.

However, Mr Orina contradicted the document, stating that Sh211 million had been paid out to the contractor. The report indicated that the five storey building would be complete by July and the contractor was on site, which the MPs flagged as an outright lie.

Mr Orina requested the committee to withdraw the written report and replace it with his oral submissions, which Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei objected to.

“We cannot proceed if you withdraw the report. So, wait for the consequences,” the senator said. When he got a chance to give his oral submissions, Mr Okero sought to convince the committee that Mr Orina was not giving the correct information. “I want to confirm that what is in writing is not what is on the ground. The contractor walked out of the site a few weeks ago due to non-payment.

So, we have certificates raised but payments have not been done.” “There might be a variance from the records because the contractor, I am aware, has raised payment certificates of Sh62 million but has only been paid Sh18 million,” explained the Speaker.

Sections of the stalled building collapsed on May 28, 2021, injuring 10 workers. The incident was linked to poor workmanship. At the time, three floors had been completed and the fourth one was almost done.

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