And while it's a frustrating and puzzling experience, it is also a matter of Public Interest when citizens don't get value for money? Like earl
And while it’s a frustrating and puzzling experience, it is also a matter of Public Interest when citizens don’t get value for money?
Like earlier in the week, Jim Boniface Alugo, shared an article in one of the dailies under the title;
“Luo Counties the butt of devolution Joke”
Jim actually took quite some words out of my mouth.
I was shell shocked, [because its so true] when he mentioned;
“..marginalisation has been dangled as the reason for underdevelopment in Luo Nyanza. …
And when he added that with the seed of devolution sown with significant resources at county level. Yet, the development record of Luo Nyanza counties still struggles to meet the grade!
These thoughts occupied me, a quite abit. Little did I know, a practical reason why the Luo Nyanza counties are finding development elusive would confront me later in the week.
I tell you, its real when Paulo Coelho, says “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
I encountered the revealing example, in Rangwe Market, Homabay County.
…..Thank you Rangwe Market ….
Rangwe market located in Rangwe sub-county is one of the 40 markets in the county earmarked for improvement by spreading of murram and drainage works by the Homabay County.
The contract for Rangwe Market was awarded to a local contractor .S*M* Investments at a cost of 1,464,397:92 based on a Bill of Quantities [BOQ] dated Sept,25, 2018.
The contractor, has since presented the Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation Cooperatives and Enterprises Development with a payment demand letter [dated 23.10.18] and invoice [dated 24.10.18] claiming ….“the work is complete, and therefore request payment…..”
read on …. ….can you smell the coffee
‘Spine-Tingling’……….Public Interest Observation…. its
I was sincerely shocked , though only mildly surprised ……
The works by this contractor are not just incomplete, but a number of works stated in the Bill of Quantity have NOT BE DONE AT ALL.
The Homabay County Citizens Association [Bunge La Wenyenchi], through its Speaker Walter Opiyo, on behalf of the Rangwe Community, expressed “concern that the contractor is carrying out the works with a lot of falsehood meant to cheat and defaud the public”
While at the market, we decided to take a peek at the works cited in the BOQ, and to give ourselves the comfort how they presented on the ground following the claims of completion.
…..Shock on you!!
While the contractor claims “completeness of works” and “demands payment” the works are either incomplete, and some had not been carried out altogether.
Some of the revealing works included;
The spreading of Murram IS NOT 150mm ;
WHERE are the U-drain excavations or the Precase concrete invert block drains etc etc
– to be paid kshs. 245,556
Where are the Gate Works – WHERE is the “wall adjacent to the gate,” the Gate size [6000 x2400mm high], 200x200mm columns on each side of the gate, where is HIGH GLOSS paintng etc etc – quoted at Kshs. 100,000?
The toilets are 3 doors – where are the 6 doors [toilet and showers] cited in the BOQ?
The longdrop toilets ARE FULL, and exhauster services HAVE NOT been rendered as claimed to warrant kshs. 250,000 payment
……..AND MORE …..
…..Business Unusual …...
Bunge La Wenyenchi has written to the Chief Officer, Ministry of Trade Industrialisation and Investment, Homabay County and demanded;
- the contractor be investigated for fraud in the said works at Rangwe market;
- payment be witheld until investigation is complete;
- the contractor be blacklisted, if found guilty
The Bunge La Wenyenchi expressed similiar concerns regarding the other 39 markets in the county. A concern already brought to the attention of the Chief Officer whose response in expected in 14days.
…I wondered …
If I hadn’t mentioned this trip to Rangwe Market, and instead asked, “what is the problem in our society?” Perhaps for an answer, you might expect homelessness, tribalism, road accidents, or the economy. But I would simply smile and nod for all your suggestions, and when you are done, I would voice my opinon.
Apathy! That is the ingredient that ails us and which Jim may have left out.
It is common knowlege, that baring a few, the elected leadership, in Luo counties are seriously under-performing. And the Rangwe market, incident repeats itself so often under their noses – nobody seems to blink an eye – “not a comment” on such brazen [in]action what disturbs is these situations don’t seem to worry them!
A responsible citizenry holds its leaders [whoever it is] to account
I wish to urge residents of Rangwe to be vigilant in monitoring how this works at the market is re-done. I further urge the leadership of traders in markets to seek to know from the County government what is approved and to confirm what is actually done – the law is on your side. The law allows you to obtain any information on development projects!
Surely, you can’t leave these people to build a countys’ infrastructure this way. If this is happening in the other 39 markets as was suggested – it clearly then spells ineptitude. Infrastructure underpins almost every aspect of economic growth and human development, Homabay County can’t afford to be left behind, or can it.
Conclusion – Beyond Bias
We hoped to inform the public, spark discussion and trust the Chief Officer to take action – Nothing is Sacred but the Truth – #HomabayCounty@7
We may revisit!