Committee questions how contractor received Sh31m for stalled project

Members of the County Assembly are demanding to know why a contractor was paid Sh31 million for an incomplete maternity wing project.

The project, started at Busia Referral Hospital at a cost of Sh44.4 million in 2015, was meant to reduce congestion in the main wards.

The contractor was expected to complete it in 13 months. But more than two years since it was begun, the project remains unfinished and the contractor has left the site.

The county assembly's Implementation committee chaired by Nambuku/Namboboto MCA Vincent Olumbe yesterday visited the site to ascertain the status of the project. Mr Olumbe said the contractor had already been paid Sh31 million before the project stalled. 

The committee wondered why the county director of works and structural engineer, who were supervising the project, allowed the contractor to be paid 70 per cent of the total cost before completing the work.

Complete project

“The contractor was overpaid and should return to the site and complete the project,” said Olumbe.

The committee demanded the project's design, bills of quantities and certificate of payments, and warned other contractors whose projects had stalled that they would be investigated.

“It is not going to be business as usual, even if it means seeking assistance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.”

Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi said the maternity wing must be completed to ease congestion at the hospital.

The maternity, intensive care and emergency units were among projects queried by Auditor General Edward Ouko in 2016.

Others were Obekai Dispensary (Sh18.2 million), Malaba Dispensary (Sh18.2 million) and Sio Port Sub-District Hospital (Sh22.7 million).

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Members of the County AssemblycontractorSh31 millionBusia Referral HospitalMCA Vincent OlumbeDeputy Governor Moses MulomiAuditor General Edward Ouko