Inside Murkomen's Plan to Transform Kenyan Roads, Ease Traffic Snarl-Ups

  • Transport and Infrastructure CS Kipchumba Murkomen during his vetting at the County Hall on October 19, 2022.
    Transport and Infrastructure CS Kipchumba Murkomen during his vetting at the County Hall on October 19, 2022.
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    National Assembly
  • Transport Cabinet Secretary nominee, Kipchumba Murkomen, detailed five key areas he would focus on should he be approved by the National Assembly Vetting Committee. 

    Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, October 19, Murkomen noted that he would effect modern technologies in the construction of quality roads in a bid to lower the total cost incurred. 

    He added that his office would bring down the cost of a kilometre of road from Ksh50 million by a substantial amount or even half the price. 

    While addressing traffic snarl-ups on busy highways such as Thika Road Superhighway and Mombasa road, Murkomen affirmed that he would enforce a traffic management system to reduce traffic snarl-ups.  

    Transport CS nominee Kipchumba Murkomen appears before the National Assembly Committee on appointments on October 19, 2022.
    Transport CS nominee Kipchumba Murkomen appears before the National Assembly Committee on appointments on October 19, 2022.
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    National Assembly

    The Transport CS nominee also warned rogue contractors handling stalled projects across the country, underlining that he will digitize systems to track progress and identify and weed out those who are underperforming. 

    While addressing the pending bills owed to contractors, Murkomen promised to clear the issue of pending bills by using the road maintenance levy to guarantee a one-off infrastructure bond. 

    The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator stated he would traverse the country to get first-hand information and experience on infrastructural needs and progress.

    "If you are a shady contractor, we will delist you and avail the list online," Murkomen warned. 

    He also promised to equally distribute road networks in the country but would prioritise areas marginalized in road infrastructure development. 

    Mombasa to Malaba Congestion

    The CS nominee pointed out that he would enter into a private-public partnership to entice the private sector to invest in the highway and reduce truck congestion and delays in the transportation of goods. 

    He added that his administration would harness resources from local investors such as pension funds, banks, and Saccos and capitalize on the tolling system. 

    Nairobi Expressway

    During the vetting process, Murkomen heaped praise on the Nairobi Expressway, adding that the tolling system ought to be viewed as a means of saving as opposed to levying extra charges. 

    "If you look at the expressway, it takes a shorter time hence saving on time and fuel. This should be the policy.

    "We should be able to identify our high-density roads and put in place a tolling policy with a fee that is commensurate to the figure that the motorist will get," he stated.

    He added that the glaring flaw of the expressway model was incorporating foreign investors instead of wooing local investors from the private sector. 

    "We must change from the model of the expressway, where the (foreign) investor incurred risks but also got immense benefits in the long run. He may decide to take his funds elsewhere as opposed to a local investor who would benefit the country.

    "Further, the roads below has been left in a dilapidated state, but corrective measures are being worked on by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA)," he pointed out. 

    The Nairobi East toll station of Nairobi Expressway.
    The Nairobi East toll station of Nairobi Expressway.
    Daily Nation