Transport secretary Michael Kamau says the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway will proceed according to the official schedule.
Mr Kamau told Parliament Wednesday that President Uhuru Kenyatta had issued a tight deadline of up to March 2018 to complete the 609km standard gauge railway.
He ruled out replacing the project consultant, saying such a drastic action could attract legal sanctions. The Third Railway Survey and Design Group Corporation (TSDI) has moved equipment to the site.
“We will not stop the consultant or contractor because they have already mobilized and are on site. We will look at ways of administratively doing other things that can’t make us attract penalties,” Mr Kamau told MPs.
Both the TSDI and the China Roads and Bridge Corporation which is undertaking the construction are owned by the government of China. The Chinese consulting firm will be paid fees totalling Sh3.27 billion.
The Public Investments Committee (PIC) chaired by Adan Keynan had asked the ministry to suspend the construction until an independent consultant is recruited to supervise the work.
Accompanied by Principal Secretary Nduva Muli and Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) managing director Atanas Maina, Mr Kamau said any interference with the consultant or contractor will attract legal suits or penalties. There are enough safeguards to ensure that the project meets specifications, he said.
“The consultant has professional insurance indemnity cover of $51 million (Sh4.4 billion). They have a performance bond of bank guarantee for 10 per cent of the project cost or Sh32 billion which must be maintained until after the 12 months,” he said.
Mr Keynan’s committee accused the ministry and KRC.
“Conflict of interest, due process of law and contempt to Parliament is what we are looking at here. This project has had allot of challenges,” Mr Keynan said.
He, however, said PIC would not press for the suspension of the project. The committee has invited TSDI, Apex and Edon Consulting Ltd that formed a consortium to provide consultancy to KRC.
Others to be summoned are Korea Railway, Team Engineering and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority. Korea Railway and Team lost the consultancy tender.
Source: Business Daily
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