These funds are critical to Government plan of maintaining key rural access roads.
With agriculture still the mainstay of the economy, access to market determines the income of most farmers.
However, while withholding funds from those culprits is proper, the ministry should follow up with an audit to establish why the money was not spent.
It might even be that they did not need the cash in the first place, or that they lack the technical expertise to ensure projects are executed.
Regular road maintenance using these funds can also help reduce accidents, which are growing by the day.
Ignoring maintenance of roads and the accompanying infrastructure, including bridges affects Kenya’s competitiveness in the long run.
The ministry has faced, and will continue to face, plenty of criticism over its poor performance in terms of supervision of contractors mandated to work on the national highways.
For instance, work on the Nakuru-Kericho road, a key link to western Kenya, is moving at a snail’s pace. This is having a negative impact on the economy of the region, as the cost of transporting goods and people has increased.
Given that transport alone accounts for 40 per cent of the price of goods and services, the long-term effect is expensive. In the recent past, construction and rehabilitation of public roads were generally linked to large-scale financial shenanigans and corruption.
There has been some improvement, but oversight must remain tight to ensure compliance with standards and the law.