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Legislators start probe on Ksh3.19B KICC renovation expenditure

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 04:23 | By
Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki . PHOTO/Print
Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki . PHOTO/Print

Lawmakers have commenced investigations into allegations that the government could have spent a whooping Sh 3.19 billion for the renovations of the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) ahead of the African Climate Summit held in Nairobi last year.

The MPs who sit in the Tourism and Wildlife committee have written to the Ministry of Defence top officials led by Principal secretary as well as a Chinese Firm China Wuyi which was awarded the contract to spruce up the building to appear before them next week and explain how the Sh3.19 billion was spent yet the National Assembly only approved Sh1.9 billion.

Local contractors

The investigations came after the committee chaired by Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki accused China Wuyi which was the lead contractor that was awarded the contract to renovate the facility by the Ministry of Defense of fleecing local contractors their hard-earned money yet they carried out 80 percent of works.

Mbiuki while assuring that his committee will do a thorough job revealed that as of today, out of the Sh 1.9billion KICC has transferred a total of Sh 1.25 billion to the Ministry of Defence to pay the suppliers and contractors.

Said Mbiuki:  We have filed a report on the floor of the house and recommended that no further payment should be done until the matter raised here has been resolved. The total amount so far transferred by KICC is Sh1.25 billion. The latest transfer is of Sh300 million though the ministry of Defense is under instructions not to pay China Wuyi until we deal with this matter. They are still holding on to this money.”

He added: “We will be writing to China Wuyi and the ministry of officials to come here and clarify about the contract signed between them and local contractors.”

Mwatate MP Peter Shake took on China Wuyi head on accusing them of fleecing local contractors of their hard-earned money.

“I think this is a company that has come to fleece Kenyans of their money. Where did this company come from?”

Mbeere North MP James Ruku said that they cannot allow local contractors to suffer in the hands of international contractors and thus insisted on the need to have China Wuyi appear before them to shed light on the matter.”

Take advantage

Kuresoi North MP Alfred Mutai said that they cannot allow one company to come to Kenya and take advantage of Kenyans by cobbling up Sh 3.9 billion.

He said: “An opportunist wants to come and take advantage of Kenyans. If we spend Sh3.9 billion, are we constructing a new building or are we building a new one altogether.”

Details of the matter came to the fore after 14 contractors who were brought on board by the ministry of defense through the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) which was overseeing the renovation works accused China Wuyi of failing to pay them their dues amounting to Sh 674.6 million.

The contractors comprising architects, project managers, contractors, interior designers, fit out specialists, furniture suppliers among others said they did their work and delivered their services and handed over the venue by September 4, 2023 yet they have not been paid up to date.

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