Governor Mike Sonko has come under sharp scrutiny after it emerged he paid more than half a billion shillings to firms to collect city garbage, yet there’s not much to show for it.
The city is filthily littered with solid waste even into the CBD, with hardest-hit areas being back-streets and dark alleys, where street children have converted to no-go zones.
This is despite the county making a Sh524 million to about 14 companies to tidy the city.
The revelation was part of a response by former City Hall Environment executive Larry Wambua to a question asked by nominated MCA Millicent Kagere.
The ward representative sought to know the names of the companies the county has paid for the last six months for garbage collection.
The 14 companies include Kange Construction, Yiro Enterprises, Creative Consolidated System, J. W. Mwangi, Tema Home Care, and Nyawa Agencies.
Others are Felixilease Limited, Vineyard Holdings, Hardi Enterprises, Jackoy Enterprises, Purlexis Enterprises, Acacia Equipment, Yiro Enterprise and Commoditry Waste Management.
In February, the county government was on the spot for awarding a firm a Sh278 million two-year contract for garbage collection in the city centre to a company with no experience in waste management.
Aende Group admitted that when the firm bid for the tender, it had no prior experience in garbage collection.
In October last year, an irregularity was discovered at City Hall after it emerged that garbage collecting companies were paid different amounts for delivering the same services.
Hardi Enterprise was said be owed Sh22.6 million for provision of heavy equipment and machinery in July while another firm, Purlexis Limited was owed Sh2.2 million despite providing similar services as Hardi.
On the delays of payment to garbage collectors and measures put in place by the executive to curb delay in payments to the contractors, Mr Wambua pointed at the failure of some contractors to submit fully supported request for payments as a major reason for the delays.
He stated that contractors are normally required to submit request for payment by the fifth day of the subsequent month but many do not adhere to the requirement leading to a back log.
“On measures to curb the delay of payments, the environment department strives to secure adequate budget for all its operations either as initial budget or as supplementary budget. However, the final decision on payments lies with the County Treasury,” said Mr Wambua.
He further highlighted the verification exercise by the pending bill committee as another factor causing delays in payment of contractors involved in garbage collection in the capital.
Mr Wambua said the committee is yet to give any recommendations whether the contractors should be paid or not.
“The remaining part of the payment can only be resumed and completed once clearance is issued by the pending bill committee,” he said.