Kenya: Meru Woman Rep Leads Sit-in Over Delayed Rehab Project

Protesters led by Meru Woman Representative Kawira Mwangaza on Wednesday staged a sit in at Meru county commissioner's office, accusing a public works officer of sabotaging a rescue and rehabilitation centre project.

The project is being undertaken by the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) committee whose patron is the woman rep.

There was drama after the protesters, who were keen on being addressed by County Commissioner Allan Machari, brought mattresses at the offices, vowing to spend the night there until they are given audience.

MATTRESSES

The mattresses were ordered by the woman rep, who had pledged to build the rescue centre during the 2017 campaigns.

Ms Mwangaza said there is a ploy to sabotage the Sh20 million project that seeks to help vulnerable people in the community.

"When the contract was awarded, the contractor increased the cost of the project even before he could start working, leading to its cancellation. The public works officer was asked to prepare another bill of quantities (BQ) for tendering but he brought a faulty one. Since then, we have been waiting for the correct BQ without success," Ms Mwangaza said.

She claimed that the delay in preparing the BQ was meant to ensure the government's financial year lapses before the funds are released.

BILL OF QUANTITIES

However, Mr Machari said the matter has been addressed and that the bill of quantities is being prepared.

"The project is at the preparatory stage. There will be a multipurpose hall, a dormitory, an office block, a perimeter fence and public toilet. Currently, all designs are complete and will be handed over to the NGAAF executive office," Mr Machari said.

He said the bill of quantities for the project will be ready by Thursday this week.

NO PROGRESS

But the woman rep said despite holding several meetings with the county commissioner, who is a member of the NGAAF committee, there has been no progress.

"We have had enough meetings with the county commissioner without success. This is why we decided to engage the taxpayers to demand for their right. This is the only way to ensure that public funds are safeguarded," she said.

But the county commissioner said he was happy with the progress of the project.

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