Top Stories / Counties
Tuesday, 06 Dec 2016 18:52 EAT
In fraud prevention, they say every odd transaction tells a story. Shortly after the current Mandera county administration was sworn in March 2013, they embarked on several mega projects in Mandera Town. Some were completely misplaced priorities, others simply unnecessary. Yet, some were highly overpriced. They were ostensibly legacy projects of the administration, and neither the leaders nor the residents were adequately consulted on these projects.
Nearly four years later, these projects have all stalled and are unlikely to be completed any time soon. Worse, billions of shillings have been spent. Key among these stalled projects are:-
1. Mandera town tarmac roads – 24km of the streets and roads in the town were contracted for Sh2.4 billion, excluding consultancy and supervision fees. It’s been a subject of investigation by EACC, a Senate petition and the Auditor General’s adverse opinion.
2. Two huge multistorey complexes for Mandera county government headquarters and Mandera county assembly headquarters
3. An exclusive Governor’s residence villa complete with a swimming pool, jacuzzi and other trappings on a ridge overlooking the area
4. A five-star four-storey county hotel complex with conference facilities
5. A regional livestock market just a few kilometres away from the borders, and only a few kilometres from the proposed county headquarters buildings
These five projects were started at a total value of nearly Sh4 billion in 2013/14 financial year. They have stalled and will probably cost far more to complete. No reasons other than poor administration of the county’s resources and management can explain this mess! Lack of funds is certainly not the reason; every project approved by the Assembly has funds voted for the full value of the contract over its duration. Every year, huge funds are allocated to complete these projects. Yet, they remain incomplete!
There are now many derelict monuments of the failure that residents of Mandera are very familiar with. We shall examine dozens of other stalled projects that are spread all over county. The status quo in Mandera cannot be maintained. The Ali Roba administration is a disaster in management of public resources and public administration. I shall keep you posted with further more shocking revelations of the plunder in our county under a clueless administration.
# Imam Ghazzali was asked “does money upset the hearts of learned men?” He answered, "men whose hearts are changed by money are not learned".
The writer is the senator for Mandera County.