Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei has faulted the the contractor in charge of Nairobi’s Western Bypass for omitting six interchanges that were in the original plans during the construction of the Ksh21.5 billion road.
Speaking before Parliament, Cherargei said that the interchanges were initially planned to be constructed at six shopping centres along the road to provide an easier access to the corridor and ease traffic congestion.
The highway, which was built during the era of former president Uhuru Kenyatta , starts at Gitaru and passes through Wangige to Ndenderu and ends at Ruaka at the Two Rivers roundabout.
He questioned why the Chinese contractor was paid Ksh1.5 billion for the project despite failing to include the six interchanges in the project.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei attending a committee sitting on Wednesday, August 17, 2023.
Parliament of Kenya
Further, he wondered whether some government officials colluded to facilitate a Ksh1.5 billion to the contractor before completing the project.
In order to unravel what occurred, Cherargei sought a response from the Standing Committee on Roads, Transportation and Housing to explain the reasoning behind disbursing the funds to the contractor.
Additionally, he wants the committee to explain why the six interchanges were omitted from the original plan by the Chinese Contractor.
The committee was also tasked with revealing the measures placed by the government to introduce junctions and interchanges along the Western bypass to ensure accessibility for the densely populated areas situated along the road.
Lastly, the Committee is required to highlight the steps taken by the government to hold to account any official involved in the Ksh1.5 billion payment with the contractor, which led to the omission of the interchanges.
The project, which began in 2019 and completed in 2022, was developed to ease traffic in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).
According to the initial plans, the highway was to connect the Southern Bypass and interlink with Nairobi-Malaba road, with six interchanges constructed along the road.
While commissioning the road in 2022, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), the procuring entity, said that the government had resorted to cheaper modifications along the road due to high cost of acquiring land for the interchanges.
A photo of former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
State House Kenya