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New regional courts found poorly built, MPs demand inspection

3 months ago 54
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Counties
Friday July 08 2022

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Chief Justice Martha Koome. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

MPs have asked the Ministry of Public Works to inspect all court buildings to ascertain the level of defects and occupational safety hazards after an audit revealed poor workmanship.

A report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says 11 court stations funded through taxpayer’s money exhibited poor workmanship.

The Judiciary has been undertaking the construction works of 39 law courts spread across the country out of which 11 have been completed.

Construction works for some of the law courts were awarded in the financial year 2013.

“The committee observed that much as 11 courts had since been completed, there was poor workmanship exhibited in a number of them,” PAC said in a report that was adopted by MPs before the House adjourned to pave way for the August 9 General Election.

The report follows findings by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu who raised the red flag on the delayed completion of construction of 39 courts that continued to attract interest on the contract sum.

She said a review of the position as at June 30, 2020, indicated that a total of Sh822.2 million was awarded to the contractors.

“Further, included in the award was a total of Sh773,740,811 to various contractors as claims on projects awarded but were yet to commence due to unavailability of land for construction, unpaid certificates, and interest on delayed payments.”

Consequently, Ms Gathungu said the value for money on the payments and the outstanding obligations could not be confirmed.

Anne Amadi, the Judiciary Chief Registrar admitted before PAC that there were delays in the conclusion of government-funded projects in the 39 law courts as at end of June 2020.

“However, 11 projects are practically complete namely Butali, Embu, Eldoret (Fence), Garsen, Runyenjes, Tawa, Mombasa Court of Appeal, Mombasa Law Courts (Renovations), Hamisi, Iten and Nkubu,” Ms Amadi told MPs.

She said the remaining construction works in 28 court stations have been repackaged and re-tendered.

“The funding for the projects has been proposed in FY 2022/2023 budget,” she said.

“The main reason for delayed completion of the projects was due to budget cuts as a result of which contractors abandoned sites that led to the delay in completion of works.”

“The amount has increased due to penalties and interest. The Judiciary has however engaged the National Treasury to consider funding to settle the awards to contractors,” she said.

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Source : Businessdaily Africa

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