Chinese Companies Battle Over Ksh 20B Mega Project

  • The Koru-Soin Dam in Kisumu
    The Koru-Soin Dam in Kisumu.
  • Two Chinese companies are engaged in a fierce fight over a Ksh20 billion dam project.

    A report by People Daily on Monday, May 31, indicated that the two companies, China Gezhouba and China Jiangxi Economic Cooperation, are fighting to keep the tender for the Koru-Soin Dam.

    The vicious legal battle has stalled the project attracting the attention of four Senators, Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Fred Outa (Kisumu), Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi).

    China Jiangxi Economic Corporation was awarded the tender to construct the dam by the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority at a cost of Ksh20 billion.

    The Koru-Soin Dam in Kisumu
    The Koru-Soin Dam in Kisumu

    China Gezhouba, which had applied for the tender at a cost of Ksh19.2 billion, reported to the Public Procurement Review Board (PPRB) contesting the award arguing that the exercise was irregular.

    The company claimed that the authority did not select the lowest bidder in the exercise despite the company presenting its qualifications to handle the project.

    This is despite the procurement regulations providing that after proper review, a tender provider should award the project to the lowest qualified bidder.

    The Senators appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene in the tussle and hasten the construction of the dam located along Nyando River in Kisumu.

    Cherargei argued that China Ghezhouba should have bagged the tender to save tax payers Ksh 700 million.

    “I think somebody is sabotaging it. This is because it involves a lot of money. I thought you must give value for money when awarding tenders.

    “Had we awarded the company whose bid was Sh19.2 billion, we would have saved Kenya Sh700 million," stated Cherargei.

    He further argued that over 2,000 displaced families that depended on the compensation were suffering as the two companies squared it out in the court.

    Kajwang, while corroborating with Cherargei, argued that as the tussle continued, taxpayers risked losing Ksh1.5 billion that had already been paid out for the construction of the project.

    “Many of these grand projects were conceived many years ago. Everything is okay on paper, but when it comes to implementation, nothing happens.

    "We want to tell the President that the people he has delegated executive authority to are letting him down,” stated Kajwang.

    This comes even as former Treasury Henry Rotich, who is an accused party in the embezzlement of funds in Ksh11 billion Arror and Kimwarer project, was charged afresh over his role in the scandal.

    An image of Henry Rotich
    Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich speaking at a past event.
    Citizen Digital