Governor Mike Sonko has claimed a chunk of Sh3.7 billion set aside for city roads was diverted, hence the deplorable state of the same.
A report by audit firm KPMG said the monies, factored in the 2015/16 budget, were spent on legal fees in Evans Kidero’s administration.
The money was to be used in the repair and maintenance of the city roads in a bid to improve the capital city’s infrastructure.
But Kidero dismissed the claims as ‘absolute nonsense’ and asked Sonko to resign ‘if the job is too tough for him’.
He said the state of the roads was much better during his term than they are today.
Documents seen by the Correspondent show that top law firms received the funds that were diverted from the development kitty.
The monies, in the report launched at City Hall on March 22nd, 2018, were transferred to operations account and directly paid to the law firms.
This is part of the report which showed that City Hall cannot account for over Sh21billion spent by the previous administration.
In an interview with the Correspondent, Sonko maintained that the former governor is to blame for the deplorable state of the city roads.
“If the Sh3 billion meant for roads was not diverted, it would have fixed all the feeder roads and drainages.”
“The money was diverted from the development account to operations and ended up in some lawyers’ pockets,” the governor said.
He said works on over 200 roads has stalled yet most of them were supposed to be complete by mid-2017.
“Some contracts abandoned projects following non-payment of Sh1.4 billion. When I took over, only Sh600million was available in the budget for roads.”
The governor said he was not able to float tenders for road works since the county was yet to have its supplementary budge approved.
“Since the budget was approved, I tendered for 46 new roads and the contractors who abandoned the jobs are back,” Sonko said.
The governor says he has forwarded the audit report citing misappropriation of roads cash to the EACC for action.
Sonko’s claims follow in the wake of complaints by city residents over poor services in the face of garbage and pothole eyesores.
The county government, roads agencies KURA, KeNHA and KERRA have been citing the ongoing rains as reason for the delays in road maintenance.
But former Roads CEC Mohammed Abdullahi, however, refuted the claims saying the allegations are politically instigated.
“I made my contribution and I could do what was humanly possible with the available resources,” Abdullahi said.
“I am not aware that any funds were diverted to pay legal fees. This was under the jurisdiction of the finance department.”
Former County Secretary Robert Ayisi also distanced himself from the financial queries.
He said that the former Finance CEC Gregory Mwakanongo is in a position to answer to the allegations.
The Roads Medium Term Expenditure Report shows that the total budget for 2015/16 on transport was Sh3.7billion and only 1.5billion was utilised.
The report further states that in that financial year, the county was supposed to maintain 1,330Km but only 340Km of roads was achieved while Kura maintained 990km.
However, in the next FY 2017/18, a total of Sh6.3 billion has been allocated to roads.
“The recurrent expenditure will take Sh1.363 Billion (21.62 per cent of the sector budget) and the development expenditure will take Sh4.941 Billion (78.38 percent of total sector budget). This allocation includes funds from the conditional allocation of Sh215 million for Road Maintenance levy,” reads the county budget.*
In a spot check at the CBD, traffic congestion in the city and surrounding areas are a daily affair now.
There is no place to walk, let alone drive. Drains are open or overflow with sewage.
City residents expressed their disappointments as the county collaborated with the national government to restore sanity which they stated required another sh 4.1billion.
Sonko said that the recarpeting will be undertaken by Chinese contractors who worked on Thika Highway, Outering Road, and Ngong Road.
“This has seriously deteriorated mobility and adversely affected commute time for both employees of the numerous companies and the daily wage workers who can least afford it,” Dickson Wanyama, a city resident said.
“All residents rich and poor in the city are suffering due to rise in pollution, overcrowding and traffic congestion,” another resident lamented.
The resident added that children are frequently stuck in jams and return home tired.
“It is scary to think the effect the pollution has on their growing bodies. Cases of asthma and allergic cough are quite common,” he added.