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Chinese contractor blocks road alleging harassment by Government agencies

By Eric Abuga | Jan 30th 2019 | 2 min read
By Eric Abuga | January 30th 2019

AHERO, KENYA: Chinese road contractors working along the Sh9.4 billion Kisii-Ahero highway blocked the road for the better part of Tuesday over alleged harassment from some Government agencies.

This is after Enforcement Officers from Kisii County Government ambushed workers working under the company arresting a number of the casuals and a Chinese Engineer.

Motorists plying the Kisii-Uyugis- Kisumu road were forced to wait for hours as the contractor sought to have his workers released.

It wasn't immediately why officers made the arrests but the County Executive Member in charge of Administration Dr Walter Okibo said the contractor was yet to comply with a number of requirements.

"They have not been paying some taxes, no locals has been employed and they have not put up proper road signage," said Okibo.

Michael Oringo, a driver with Third Engineering Company that is undertaking the construction said more than 20 uniformed Enforcement Officers from Kisii County ambushed workers while they were on lunch and managed to arrest a number of his colleagues.

"If they have issues let them call the contractor and come up with a solution. It is unfortunate that one Government has opted to fight the other," said Oringo.

Another casual Peter Ombuna claimed that officers from the County Government have on several occasions been demanding payment whenever the company goes fetching water from a number of streams and rivers in the area.

"We don't know under which law we are supposed to pay taxes for fetching water from a natural river."

The first lot of Kisii-Ahero is being rehabilitated by China Henan at a cost of Sh8.6 billion and will include upgrading of Suneka-Rangwe and Nyachenge-Tabaka-Ogembo feeder roads, among others.

The second lot is being undertaken by Third Engineering Company at a cost of Sh9.4 billion. Running from Kisii to Ahero, it will include Oyugis-Kendu Bay, Misambi-Ekerenyo and Oyugis Gamba feeder roads among others.

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