Kenya: New Report Blames Stalled Projects on Wastage, Graft

23 October 2020

Poor planning and wastage and misuse of taxpayers' money are to blame for Mombasa's stalled projects, a new report says.

The report by Haki Yetu, a civil society group, criticises the devolved government for not doing enough to fight corruption and misuse of resources.

According to Haki Yetu project officer Joanne Otengo, poor accounting has become the hallmark of public service in Mombasa, leading to massive loss of funds.

"Wastage mainly emerges from poor planning and deviating from actual plans. Projects are either badly implemented, abandoned, ghostly or duplicated," Ms Otengo said.

"Misappropriation of money and lack of goodwill to address these concerns have provided a conducive environment for corruption."

The "Unfinished Business and Wasted Resources - A Case of Mombasa County" report reviewed progress on selected projects between the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial year in August and September.

It highlights rundown projects like the Sh75million sports centre at Uwanja wa Mbuzi, Kongowea sponsored by the Department of Youth, Gender, Sports and Cultural Affairs. The project was initiated in May 2017.

"The stadium was launched by Governor Hassan Joho but barely three years later, it is in an agonising state, characterised by tattered synthetic grass. Its status does not match the cost," she said.

The renovation of Mombasa stadium in Mvita by the county and national governments has dragged on for four years, the report says.

It is expected to be completed in June 2021, according to county officials.

"In the 2017/18 financial year, some Sh61.3 million was set aside for the improvement of the stadium. In the 2018/19 fiscal year, another Sh1billion was budgeted for the stadium and an additional Sh10 million was given to the project," the report adds.

"The county government in its 2018-22 plan said the stadium would be complete by December 2020. It remains to be seen if residents will have a brand new world-class stadium."

Haki Yetu executive director Gabriel Dolan said the 1.3-kilometre Mtopanga road in Kisauni was to be upgraded to cabro paving block standard with a drainage.

The project was allocated Sh37.4 million in the 2017/18 financial year. The road was 23 per cent complete in June 2018. No contractor has been seen on the site for a year, the report says.

"Small projects like these are being used as opportunities by individuals to help themselves. Kenyans need to contextualise corruption and wastage. It must start at your doorstep. We need to evaluate and make people accountable for the projects," Fr Dolan said.

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