Auditor says Sh800m spent on Kiambu's stalled hospital projects

Lari Level Four Hospital in Rukuma is one of the projects that Governor Kimani Wamatangi has revived. [George Njunge,Standard]

The latest report by the Auditor General has exposed how public hospital projects in Kiambu have stalled for years despite gobbling over Sh800 million.

In an indictment of former Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and his predecessor Ferdinand Waititu, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu  raised concerns about the status of Bibirioni Level 4 hospital, Tigoni hospital, Lari Level 4 hospital, and the Ruiru Level 4 hospital, Central Commodity Stores, some of which were initiated by first
Governor William Kabogo in 2015.

These projects, which had stagnated despite absorbing Sh858,831,411, have now been revived by Governor Kimani Wamatangi and are nearing completion after he paid pending bills and renegotiated the contracts.

The Nyoro regime, the report shows, failed to complete the hospital projects within their timelines despite receiving hundreds of millions of shillings for their completion.

In the 2022/2023 audit report tabled before the Senate, Gathungu points out that Nyoro was unable to complete the projects he initiated, as well as those started by Waititu.

Regarding the 200-bed Bibirioni Level 4 Hospital in Limuru, whose construction was commissioned by former First Lady Margarete Kenytatta in 2028, the audit notes that the Sh285 million contract was awarded on April 9, 2018, with an expected completion date of 2020.

“Review of the contract revealed that the project was to be completed within 104 weeks. However, at the time of the audit, the project was only 70 per cent complete, having taken 261 weeks, an extension period of 157 days without approval by the Tender Evaluation Committee,” the auditor notes. The hospital had already consumed Sh126,257,472 by the time of the audit.

The report has also returned an adverse opinion on the construction of Tigoni hospital, whose construction started in 2015 by Kabogo.

“A contract for the construction of a three-storeyed medical ward block at Tigoni sub hospital was awarded a price of Sh160,740,400 to be completed by 2017. But at the time of the audit, the project was behind schedule without approval of the extension of the contract,” the auditor observed.

The auditor at the same time raised a red flag over the quality of the work done at the facility, exposing the shoddy construction that has left the hospital needing to consume more

“Audit inspection carried out revealed leakages on the walls of the building and the theatre halls, faulty sinks, and poor drainages in the first and second floors of the building, there was also wall washing from the gutters by rain waters, and there were cracks on the walls and along the columns in all the floors of the building,” the Gathungu report reveals.

In what points to a design flaw, the report further shows that four theatre rooms could not be used since the height of the room could not allow installation of the theatre machines to the height of the patients.

“There was also poor workmanship of electrical works, plumbing works and door fixing in the whole building. In addition, the lift had not been installed and the solar system provided in the Bill of Quantities of Sh5,700,000 had also not been installed at the time of project inspection,” she notes.

The auditor has also flagged the construction of Lari Level 4 hospital, saying out of the Sh191,807,805 contract sum, a total of Sh151,370,753 comprising 79 per cent had been paid against 56 per cent of work done.

Gathungu says an audit revealed poor workmanship as evidenced by cracks along the walls and pillars.

“The pillars joined on the second floor to the fourth storey were bending and clearly showed separation from the second floor hence the pillars were not properly aligned. Further, the concrete troughs and gutters were poorly done,” the auditor avers.

Construction of the facility resumed last year after Wamatangi cleared the pending pills owed to the contractor. The auditor has also raised a red flag over the delay in the completion of Wangige Hospital as well as the quality of the work.

“The project was incomplete and approximately 85 per cent done as per the project supervisor. The building was incomplete and was not commissioned, however it was put in use,” the report notes.