A court in Eldoret has stopped the construction of the Sh100 million county headquarters in Cheptiret.
This followed a suit by residents of Cheptiret in Kesses constituency, seeking to halt construction of the office block over claims the county did not seek public views on the project.
Justice Anthony Ombwayo issued the directive, stopping any work on the site pending a ruling on the suit.
In his ruling, Justice Ombwayo said there was no indication that public participation was conducted before the implementation of the project as required by the Constitution.
Construction of the office block started slightly over two months ago.
“Since there was no public participation in the implementation of the project as required by the Constitution, I hereby direct that the ongoing construction of the office block in Cheptiret be stopped with immediate effect until the matter before court is heard and determined,” ruled Ombwayo.
The petitioners, led by Kimutai Kirui, argued that the county locked them out of the project from the implementation stage.
“The county government never involved the local community at every stage of the project, we just saw several lorries accompanied by armed police officers bringing building materials to the site one morning,” Kirui said.
He said all efforts to engage the county on the project failed.
The county administration had pleaded with the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that it had held meetings and consultations with the community before embarking on the project.
It further argued that work on the site had reached 50 per cent completion and asked the court to consider the millions of shillings spent so far before halting the project.
However, Justice Ombwayo countered the argument, saying he had toured the site and found that barely 20 per cent of the work was complete.
He directed the county to organise fresh public participation meetings with the local community to deliberate and agree on the implementation of the project.