A graphic designer’s impression of the Kanduyi-Musikoma highway in Bungoma. IMAGE/GPS
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati was on Sunday forced to tell members of a popular WhatsApp forum why he had literally hijacked a road project supposed to be funded by the national government.
Members of The County Flash WhatsApp group had asked why the Governor had gone ahead to initiate the construction of the Kanduyi-Musikoma high way at a tune of Ksh1.2 billion when it’s supposed to be funded by the national government.
“The Kanduyi-Musikoma road is a national highway project; why are you funding it?” Asked a member identified as ‘GOVERNOR FSK’.
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati speaking at a past function. PHOTO/COURTESY
But in his defence, the recently elected Council of Governor’s Chairman for Finance, Public Accounting and ICT, explained that the national authority would take time to upgrade the said road at time when the residents really need it.
The response from a WhatsApp account understood to be that of Governor Wangamati. GRAPHIC/Wakajuaness
The County chief also went ahead to explain to the members the timeframe of the project saying it will take three financial years to complete the 6.5KM stretch.
“The Dual project will be done over 3 financial years. The actual cost is 1.2bn including Vat. We will allow about 200m in this financial year and the remaining in the next 2 financial years. In this financial year national government has allowed about 60m for this project. I must say some of us are financial experts and we cannot start a project that we know we cannot fund. We will a dual road by early 2021.” The governor wrote on the wall at 23.52PM.
Governor Wycliffe Wangamati had in October last year written to the Kenya National Highway Authority seeking a permission to upgrade the road, a request the authority gave immediately in a letter seen by this website.
The official letter addressed to Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati from KNHA on the go-ahead to upgrade the Kanduyi-Musikoma high way./COURTESY
Governor Wangamati did not however clarify whether the national authority will reimburse the county for the expenditure.
The County department of roads led by Cabinet Member for Roads Eng. Collins Barasa Mukhongo and his Chief Officer Mr. Maurice Wabwile Marango has received accolades from the locals as one of the best performing in the devolved government.
Bungoma County CECM for Roads and Infrastructure Eng Collins Barasa Mukhongo. His department has earned him accolades from a large section of locals. PHOTO/COURTESY.
However, critics had raised concerns in the project with many claiming that the Governor is keen to implement the project with hope of being compensated for a prime property at Kanduyi junction which is believed to be owned by the governor himself.
The tender to upgrade the road was advertised last year.
A newspaper advert advertising the tendering of the Kanduyi-Musikoma road. COURTESY
WHAT THE HIGHWAY WILL ENTAIL
The dual carriage shall comprise the following;
- Construction of two lanes on either side of the centerline.
- Construction of walkways and cycling lanes on both sides of the road for pedestrians.
- Construction of medians at the centerline for landscaping.
- Construction of a roundabout at Kiwanja ndege to ease traffic flow.
- Construction of a roundabout at Kiringet to allow free flow of traffic to and from the bus stage.
- Construction of slip lanes at reasonable distances to allow vehicles to access premises.
- Construction of parking lanes to allow businesses to load and offload goods.
- Construction of drainage works to avoid flooding of the road and shops.
- Installation of street lights along the whole stretch.
- Provision of access culverts to premises.
- Road markings.
Other flagship projects the governor is keen to initiate include the Industrial Park and a dairy plant in Webuye and an airstrip in Matulo.