The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission is investigating an attempt to revise the cost of construction of Badasa dam in Marsabit from Sh2.349 billion to over Sh 4 billion the Star has established.
EACC is seeking to determine the procedures followed by the NWCPC board to make the alterations that will cost the taxpayer an extra Sh 2 billion.
Despite the variations, spillway works and electromechanical works at the site have stalled.The initial tender project was to cost Sh2.4 billion. On November 22 last year, the NWCPC managing Director Petronilla Ogut signed three variations order amounting to Sh685 million.
The variation orders included a geo-textile variation worth Sh18.8 million, a Sh248.8 million variation for filters and Sh 417.4 million for grouting. Prior to this, three other variation orders had been signed by the NWCPC MD.
"Contractually, the engineer can make variations to the contract but the value of of certified works is Sh 1.6 billion. We have already liquidated damages. We have liquidated damages and are contemplating our next step," Ogut said.
However, a judge has temporarily halted termination or interference of contract awarded to a private company to construct the dam. Judge Jonathan Havelock gave the order following an application by Midroc Water Drilling Company which was awarded the tender. It will be in place for 14 days only.
Midroc Water Drilling Company was awarded the tender to construct the Badasa dam on March 20, 2009 with an agreement that the work will be completed in 30 months.
However the company could not finish the work within the agreed time and this forced it to ask for extension of time thrice. Midroc Water Drilling Company Limited has blamed adverse climatic condition, error in the design of the dam which required re-design among other things for the delay.
This plea was granted and the company was given 26 weeks as extension of time. However it could not again finish its work within the 26 weeks which led to seeking further extension of time. The extension was given but an interim one for the period of six months which meant it would have been finished by December 2012.
And this time round the extension of time was granted on condition that the company pays the national water conservation and pipeline corporation fine of Sh300,000 for every day that lapses between the relevant time for completion and take over date.
Aggrieved by this the company moved to court saying so far a total of Sh20 million has been deducted. This levying of liquidation the company feels is unfair and premature because the extension time is yet to be attained.