The race for the Director-General position at the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) whose mandate is to develop, construct and maintain the rural road network as per the Kenya Roads Act (2007) and Legislative Supplement No. 4 of January 2016 has attracted the worst.
Reports indicate that Jackson Karibiu Magondu and Peter Pato Gichohi, two engineers who have been linked to scandals have applied to succeed Mr Luke Kipchumba Kimeli.
The duo employed at roads body have perfected the art of looting using construction companies registered through proxies. Sources say, their firms win contracts and do shoddy works but are never questioned instead they are rewarded with more contracts.
“Engineer Magondu is a corrupt person, he often arm twists the procurement department to award contracts to firms associated with his cronies, we often suspect that he is the owner of those firms”, stated a source on condition that his name is not mentioned.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is said to have blacklisted the two lending the question why they are even applying for the vacancy.
In September 2017, a bridge that has been constructed at a cost of Sh1.2 billion in Budalangi collapsed while still under construction. The Chinese firm, China Overseas Engineering Company (Covec) was the contractor, contracted by KeRRA.
The man who gave the contract and received huge kickbacks at KeRRA was Mr. Peter Pato Gichohi.
Many Kenyans questioned the cost of the bridge, which links Bunyala South and Bunyala North wards in Busia County.
One Oliver Khabure, a civil engineer and proprietor of Interphase Consultants (subcontracted by COVEC), was single-sourced to provide structural engineering consultancy services and was paid hundreds of millions of shillings to design the bridge.
Khabure is Ababu’s cousin and it is through Interphase Consultants that Ababu is believed to have earned his own kickbacks arising out of the project.
Contract documents show the highly-hyped project would have cost Sh685 million, just about half of the reported prices.
The Sigiri bridge collapsed due to poor materials and shoddy workmanship.
“Mr Magondu and Mr Gichohi are crooks who should not be allowed to head KeRRA.”, stated the source firmly.
Rich KeRRA Staff
As Kenyans wait for roads to be constructed for better connectivity, many staff at KeRRA enrich themselves at their expense. Your guess is as good as mine on where the money comes from.
Gichohi is said to have constructed apartments along Kiambu road. It is also whispered that he is one of the richest engineers at KeRRA owing to his shrewd underhand deals at the government institution.
Magondu is well known for demanding kickbacks before anyone gets a tender for construction of roads.