Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago is on spot over Sh 372 million stalled projects. According to an auditor report, the residents were denied services due to the incomplete projects and could have lost millions as a result of contracts terminated by Mandago’s government.
This was unearthed during the questioning of the governor by the Senate watchdog committee over audit queries on Monday. These queries were flagged by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu for the period ending June 30th, 2019.
Mandago faced a hard time trying to explain to the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee why several projects started by his administration, some in his first terms, had stalled thus denying services to the residents.
It was revealed that his administration had terminated some contracts, thus exposing the taxpayer’s money to risk of loss. The auditor’s report indicated that out of the 54 development projects worth Sh 1.35 billion initiated by the county, 9 worth Sh 372.71 million had stalled and sh 79.57 million had been paid to contractors.
According to the report, the county executive failed to explain why the projects stalled or disclose actions it had taken to revive and complete them.
At the time of the audit, six projects worth 522.63 million were ongoing at the time of the audit. No value had been received on funds totaling 79.57 million invested therein and after. It further stated that the services the projects were to provide to the residents of Uasin Gishu were no realized.
Additionally, the county government was also accused of spending 132.08 million on a building that later stalled. The auditor also pointed out delays in the construction of milk coolers despite the county making payments amounting to 187.07 million shillings
The report further states that the construction of 13 cooling plants were contracted at 63.45 million and payments totaling 40.88 million were made but they stalled. Thereafter, the contracts were terminated and the tenders were re-advertised in October 2019.
In his defense, Mandago said that most of the projects were in their initial stages of implementation when the auditors visited the site. Adding that some of them have since then been completed, while others are already in use and others at various stages of completion.
He told the oversight committee chaired by Migori Senator Ochillo Oyacko that his government had to terminate some projects after finding out that some contractors were unable to complete the projects. He said some contractors under-quoted the contract sum, and in the middle, the found out the sum was not enough. The legislators however had an issue with the high number of stalled projects and terminated contracts.
Governor Mandago denied any loss f cash stating that the contractors were only paid for what they had done. Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei did not spare the governor as he asked if due diligence was conducted by the county administration in award of tenders. Cherargei added that termination of tenders and re-tendering have consequences.