Cofek piqued at Namanga road link delay

July 14, 2011

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11 – The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK} has protested to the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) over the delay in the completion of the Machakos – Athi River – Nairobi interchange.

In a letter to the Highways Authority, COFEK’s Secretary General Stephen Mutoro says the delay in the opening of the turnoff as well as the poor and almost non motorable diversion from Bamburi cement to Mlolongo falls way far off the consumer expected standards stipulated under Article 46 the Constitution.

The letter further demands that: “The contractor (SBI International) and supervisors (Nicholas O’Dweyer and Abdul Mullick Associates) be stopped from proceeding and be blacklisted from any other work in Kenya.”

The consumer rights watchdog has also accused the Highways Authority of breaching the Constitution by failing to provide information to the public.

“Contrary to the provisions of Article 35 of the Constitution KENHA has denied affected motorists critical information in the public interest on what is really happening as the days turn into months and years of strategic yet incomplete project,” the letter further states.

Cofek has issued a 14-day ultimatum for KENHA to come out clean on the reasons for the delay, failure to which the association will head to court.

“In this regard we are asking KENHA to put up a media statement in at least two newspapers with national circulation explaining why this road project has stalled and mitigation measures together with new timeframes of completion.”

“In the event we are unable to satisfactorily hear from you soonest and not later than 14 days from the date hereof we will move to court to seek for the same together with a possibility of peaceful demonstrations,” the letter further warns of action similar to that of Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations last year.

The interchange links the Nairobi-Mombasa highway to Namanga Road, which is also under construction. As a result of the stalling of the project, motorists have been forced to use a diversion which passes by the Bamburi and Mombasa cement factories.

The diversion has been in such a bad state that it has drawn the fury of residents of Athi River, Kitengela and other areas in Kajiado County.

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