Senators launch probe into Sh9b Mombasa Road repairs
Senators have launched investigations on why the government allocated additional Sh9 billion for the rehabilitation of the damaged Mombasa Road during the construction of Nairobi Expressway.
They also want the national government to explain why the cost of construction of the Expressway was increased from the initial Sh65.2billion to Sh72.8 billion.
The lawmakers were categorical that China Road and Bridge Construction Company should bear the cost of rehabilitating the road since they are responsible for the damages during the construction.
Samson Cherargei (Nandi), in his statement tabled at the floor of the House yesterday, questioned why the government wants to incur Sh9 billion yet they are not responsible for the damages to the road.
“The committee should inquire and report to this House why the government has set aside Sh9 billion for repair and upgrading of Mombasa Road yet the contractor of the Expressway, China Road and Bridges Corporation is responsible for the damages of the said road and ought to take full responsibility for the repairs,” said Cherargei.
The Nandi legislator argued that spending on rebuilding the road on taxpayers amounts to wastage of public funds given that the contractor has already been paid for constructing the expressway, adding that the contractor should take responsibility for the repair of sections of the dilapidated road following the construction of the Expressway.
Variation of cost
And now, the senators want the Roads and Transportation Committee chaired by Kiambu lawmaker Karungo Wa Thang’wa to probe why the government varied the cost of the construction of the Expressway from Sh65.2billion to Sh72.8billion as stated by Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
The MPs want the government to explain why the cost of rehabilitating and improving the old road was not captured in the initial cost of building the Expressway. In his statement committed to the Roads committee, Cherargei had also sought to know what led to the variation of expressway cost.
“The committee should state the guidelines on the usage of the Nairobi Expressway, especially on emergency services in order to prevent abuse of emergency service privilege and state how they conform to the law and attendant regulations,” said Cherargei.
The second-term senator urged the ministry of Roads to provide a definite timeline on the completion of the renovations and rehabilitation works.
“The committee should also provide clear timeliness on commencement and completion of the intended renovations and rehabilitation of the damaged sections of Mombasa Road,” he said.
According to Cherargei, the Roads Ministry should also give clear guidance on the usage of the Nairobi Expressway, especially to VIPs and emergency services such as fire engines and ambulances. During the opening of the Expressway, Transport CS James Macharia said his ministry had set aside Sh9 billion to repair the Uhuru Highway.