Chinese firms fight over Sh20b project

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Parliament in session. Photo/PD/File

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

A House committee was yesterday shocked to learn that two Chinese firms have been fighting over control of Sh20 billion Koru-Soin dam project in Kisumu.

 Companies in question are China Gezhouba and China Jiangxi Economic Cooperation.

 Water Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu, who had appeared before the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, regretted that construction of the multipurpose dam expected to control perennial flooding downstream of River Nyando has not taken off.

 Dam is expected to control water retention and provide relief to the people of Kisumu and Kericho towns, especially those in the Nyando Basin, who are regularly affected by floods.

 According to Irungu, the delays were occasioned by one of the firms that had moved to the Public Procurement Administration Review Board to contest award of the tender to the other the firm.

 Irungu, who had appeared before the committee to respond to audit queries relating to the 2019/2020 Financial Year, raised concerns that the ministry will end up losing millions of shillings if the current arbitration process is not successful.

  “One party of the two Chinese firms went to court fighting for the tender. I only have Sh1.5 billion and I fear if the case drags on to the end of the financial year, then we might not have the money,” Irungu said.

 While calling for the intervention of MPs to deal with the matter, Irungu raised concerns that the National Treasury may decline to fund the project in future if a solution is not found.

 Irungu told the committee that the ministry is also on the verge of losing another Sh15 billion that Treasury had allocated to the project to kick-start construction of the dam.

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