Concerns As Many Development Projects Stalled In Kenya

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Kenya's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has raised the alarm over the high number of stalled state-initiated projects across the country.

The Committee's chair John Mbadi said reports tabled before the Committee indicated that most projects had stalled despite consuming millions of taxpayers' money.

"We have established that some of the projects have to incur additional cost due to breach of contractual agreement between the government and contractors," said the chairperson.

Mbadi made the remarks when the Committee grilled Principal Secretary (PS) for the State Department of Public Works Joel Arumonyang over audited accounts for the Financial Year 2020/2021 at Parliament on Tuesday.

The Committee questioned why the ambitious Voi Pool Housing project in the coastal part of the country was taking too long to be completed.

"The project was meant to deal with the issues of shortage of houses residents were facing and also ensure decent living conditions for occupants but its completion is taking longer than expected," observed Mbadi.

The Committee resolved to start visiting projects mentioned in the Auditor General's report to get first-hand information about them before drafting its reports.

"The first project the Committee will visit is the Voi Housing project so that we can countercheck the facts being tabled before the Committee," he added.

Mbadi noted the State Department had a critical role in ensuring that citizens had value for money in taxpayer-funded projects.

Bura MP Kuno Adow Yakub blamed rogue contractors for stalled projects over improprieties in the issuance of tenders by relevant State departments.

"The PS should tell the Committee what action they have taken on some rogue contractors who abandon projects after being paid millions of shillings," he said.

Mr Arumonyang explained that most of the projects stalled due to cash flow challenges blaming the National Treasury for not releasing cash for the projects.

The PS was unable to respond to some of the audit queries raised by Members and asked for more time to prepare further responses.

The chairman gave Arumonyang two weeks to prepare and present his response to the Committee.

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