Contractors petition CS over unfair road tenders

Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

A section of contractors from North Rift have petitioned Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen over what they term unfair tender allocation by Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA).

They expressed concerns over potential breaches of fairness and equity principles within the State agency, particularly at the regional level.

Speaking to the press in Eldoret on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimised, the contractors claimed road tenders worth millions of shillings were allegedly being awarded based on ethnic lines.

They further expressed their concern over instances where procurement officers and engineers within certain KeRRA regional offices collude to obstruct the awarding of tenders.

North Rift KeRRA Regional Manager Moses Chelanga, however, said he is not aware of complaints but urged the group to forward their grievances to higher authorities at the headquarters.

“I think the contractors know the rules and regulations regarding what they are complaining about. I am not authorised to answer what they have raised,” said Chelanga.

“We possess evidence indicating that certain State officials scrutinise the CR12 page in the bidder’s documents to exclude names perceived as originating from outside the relevant region,” complained one of the contractors.

“There are instances where such officials have prearranged agreements with specific contractors, ensuring their preferential treatment in the bidding process,” he added

Consequently, they said the officials expedite the evaluation of documents belonging to their favoured contractors, ensuring their selection for the multi-million shillings jobs.

“President William Ruto made it very clear during Kenya Kwanza campaigns, promising equality and fairness to all Kenyans in opportunities. We are here to raise concerns regarding potential breaches of these principles within KeRRA, particularly in Nandi, Migori, Elgeyo Marakwet and Kakamega counties,” they said

They asked the CS to investigate officials at the KeRRA regional office whom they accused of favouring contractors from the host community in the award of road projects funded under the national government.

The disgruntled contractors called on the Cabinet Secretary to intervene and ensure that qualified contractors, irrespective of their tribal or political affiliations, benefit from tenders.

“While we refrain from naming any specific KeRRA official, we believe a comprehensive investigation will reveal the true extent of these practices nationwide.

However, our efforts to reach KeRRA Director Philip Kandie for comments did not bear fruit as his phone remained unanswered.

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