NAIROBI, October 24 – The government has now cancelled the contract for construction of the Vice President’s official residence.
Public Works Minister Chris Obure said on Friday that a new contractor would be enlisted to complete the Sh197 million home which should be finalised in the next eight months.
The minister said the previous tender was recalled on Tuesday after the contractor failed to meet several deadlines.
“The original completion period was January 27, last year. However following appeals by the contractor we extended the completion period to July 13, of the same year. Despite this, the performance of the main contractor was very slow and resulted in the issue of a default notice on 24th July 2007,” he said.
Following failure to meet the second deadline, Mr Obure said the government held a consultative meeting with the contractor in March this year and for another time he committed to complete the work by end of August this year.
By September the contractor had still not made much progress prompting the Ministry to issue him with a default notice.
Mr Obure said his ministry last week conducted an inspection and reported lack of commitment by the contractor to complete the work hence the termination of the contractor early this week.
After inspection, the ministry discovered that only 45 percent of the work had been done on the entire construction and 80 percent on the building itself and about Sh69 million had so far been spent.
Mr Obure maintained that the budget had not exceeded the original expenditure and that the government is confident that the remaining Sh130 million will be enough to complete remaining the work.
“The government is not losing any money in the construction, we only lost time, we are sticking to the original expenditure as envisaged,” he said.
He said the government had deregistered the contractor from getting involved in future government projects.
He also issued a stern warning to contractors saying the government will take action against those who carry out substandard work and fail to meet deadlines.
“Days of business as usual are long gone. We are in an era where we are now compelled to do business in unusual ways, with speed and urgency. Indeed we will proceed to take serious action against contractors who unjustifiably delay or deliver substandard work,” he warned.
The government chose to construct an official residence for the Vice President way back in 2004 but construction kicked off in January 2007.