Fresh details on Migori roads scam emerge as company suspected to have received KSh25M is revealed

Fresh details have emerged on the identity of the firm that was paid at least KSh25 million by Migori County for the construction of two roads yet no works were undertaken.

Kurunzi first broke the story of the scandal of Banana and Kasalah-Midoti-Osingo border roads construction and although at the time a county government official maintained the “both roads were done perfectly and to the standard”, a spot check confirms the payments were made but the roads were never completed.

We had asked five questions in our inquiry with the county but a response from a Moses Chamwada only suggested everything had been done above board.

“Both roads were done perfectly and to the standard.  One contractor paid another one not yet. All roads were done in consideration of procurement procedures,” Chamwada wrote in reply to our email.

When asked the identity of the contractor and what amount had not been paid, he replied that “it’s finance department which responds to issue about pending bills and list of all paid contractors and suppliers” but declined to respond to our question on who should be contacted for that information.

Locals have lamented how a contractor would be paid yet one of the roads was only “partly done and another still remaining a huge bush”.

Flouting procurement procedures

Kurunzi obtained documents of the contract and how the County government may have paid in excess of KSh25 million to Bench-tech Enterprises Limited, based in Westlands – Nairobi.

Other allegations against the Okoth Obado-led government include flouting of procurement procedures in the award of the two and other roads tenders, fingers pointing at one of the influential County Chief Officers.

The county Chief Officer (Roads) – Eliphas Onyango, declined to answer any questions on the allegations pointing at his department, instead referring Kurunzi to Chamwada, who has also been elusive with questions.

Allegedly, companies associated with Onyango have been getting majority of roads tenders without competitive bidding.

Prior to his appointment to the plum county job, Onyango was a renowned businessman in Migori town.

There is no competitive bidding as tenders are issued arbitrarily in the county, perhaps the only one yet to embrace technology in their procurement processes.

“Advertisements are merely a public relations exercise because the winner of the tender is already predetermined,” a source told Kurunzi, pointing to the rot in the county.

“Everything is done manually and that is by design because the notion is that if they go digital it might be difficult to play the games they play.”

Kurunzi is still on the trail of another several roads to establish the truth about allegations of poor workmanship and altering of standards to enable contractors and their benefactors (often high-ranking officers of the county government) pocket money.

One of our sources says the contractors even use county equipment and operators to execute tenders, meaning they incur minimum expenses.


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