Millions go down the drain as market collapses

Residents of Kiratina Estate in Nakuru East Constituency fear that millions of shillings worth of tax payers’ money may have gone down the drain following the collapse of the Kiratina open air market that was brought down by torrential rains that rocked the area on Monday evening.

The ambitious project was started during the tenure of former governor Kinuthia Mbugua and a tender awarded to Levi Contractors to construct sheds for traders who were operating in the open.

The market was also expected to ease pressure on the Wakulima wholesale market located in Nakuru’s central business district.

Area residents who spoke to the press accused the contractor of doing a shoddy job and called upon Governor Lee Kinyanjui to order an audit of the project in a bid to ensure the contractor is held accountable for the substandard work done.

The residents also complained that the project had taken too long in spite of the fact that millions of shillings continued to be pumped into it.

Anne Wanjiru, who resides near the market appealed to the county government to station security officers at the scene to prevent unscrupulous individuals from making away with materials from the collapsed project.

She said that area residents were forced to spend the night at the market so as to ensure that metal rails, iron sheets and other materials were not carted away at night.

She expressed her disappointment over the wanton misuse of tax payers money adding that traders continue working from the open grounds despite millions being allocated for the market.

Other residents called for the prosecution of the contractor to serve as a lesson to others who harbor intentions of fleecing government resources.

Brenda Akinyi further expressed concern that the market, which was initiated almost ten years ago had now gone to waste with millions of tax payers money.

She regretted that the market had taken too long to be completed despite several promises to have it completed adding that its collapse was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

Menengai East MCA Wilson Mwangi in whose ward the market is located promised to follow up the issue with the county government to ensure that tax payers money is not lost.

Mwangi said that although the market existed as an ongoing project on documents available at the county, there was little to show for it on the ground.

He regretted that the collapsed project could be a result of someone sleeping on the job and accused county officials from the previous leadership of abetting the shoddy work.

Source: Kenya News Agency