House team puts Mandago to task over Sh372m stalled projects
Uasin Gishu residents risk losing millions of shillings after various projects initiated by the county government stalled and contracts terminated.
The revelations emerged during the grilling of Governor Jackson Mandago by a Senate watchdog committee over the audit queries flagged by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu on Monday.
Mandago was at pains to explain why hundreds of projects initiated by his administration, some in his first term, have stalled thus denying the residents the much- needed services.
It also emerged the devolved unit had terminated most of the contracts, exposing the hard-earned the taxpayers’ to risk of loss.
He was appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) chaired by Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko.
The auditor’s report for the financial year ending June 30, 2019 shows that out of the 54 development projects worth Sh1.35 billion initiated by the county, nine, valued at Sh372.71 million had stalled with Sh79.57 million already paid to the contractors.
Management did not provide plausible explanations as to why the project works stalled or disclose the actions it had taken to complete them, the report states.
In his defence, Mandago said most of the projects were at their initial stages of implementation when the auditor’s visited the site, saying that some of them have since been completed and are already in use while others are at various stages of completion.
The county boss, told the nine member panel that his administration was forced to terminate some of the contracts after it emerged that some contractors were unable to complete the works.
“The problem we identified is that some contractors were under-quoting the contract sum.
And in the middle of the work, they find that the amount they quote is too little,” the governor said.
But the legislators, led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, took issue with the stalled projects and the termination of the contracts, saying they were exposing the county to litigation.
They questioned whether the county tender committee conducted due diligence before awarding the contracts and demanded to know whether the terminations had financial implications.
However, Mandago denied any loss of cash, explaining that the contractors whose contractors were terminated were only paid for the works they had done.