Judiciary on the Spot over stalled court projects across the country

The National Assembly has raised alarms over various construction projects of the judiciary spread across the country, which has stalled despite payments being made to contractors.

The NA’s Public Accounts Committee is concerned that the public may not get value for money for the projects.

As at June 2017, the Judiciary had on its roll 55 projects valued at Sh6,661,092,518.90 across the country. Twenty-eight were funded by the World Bank and 27 by the government.

MPs were concerned that Judiciary was prioritizing funding for very small court projects at the expense of those that can benefit more Kenyans.

They singled out five key projects at the Nakuru law courts, Eldama Ravine and Siaya law courts for which a total of Sh605 million been sunk only for them to stall.

In the construction of Nakuru Law Courts, physical verification of the facilities indicate the work done as at mid 2018 ,was 65 per cent while the contractor had already been paid Sh274,402,054, representing 79 per cent of the total cost.

In the building of Eldama Ravine Law Courts, the reports points out that the Judiciary overpaid the contractor by Sh4,370,819, which should have been withheld as tax as required under government procedures.

“The management has not explained the overpayment of Sh4,370,819 or failure to produce the Authority to Incur Expenditure documents for audit review. In the circumstances, the propriety and value for money for the payments totaling Sh72,493,943 made to the contractor cannot be confirmed,”

At the Siaya Law Courts project had stalled and the management has failed to provide justification for the delay.

MPs led by Opiyo Wandayi, the PAC chair and Ugunja MP took issue with what it termed as expenses on non priority projects by the Judiciary. “Why is it that some courts Just receive money even if they do not need. It seems someone is interested in specific courts, “posed  Otiende Amollo, PAC member and Rarieda MP.

“You take a court to a place where there is bad soil then ends up costing the taxpayer 10 million shillings more,” added the MP.

Judiciary chief registrar Anne Amadi led judiciary officials at the PAC meeting

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