A House team has put Deputy President William Ruto on the spot for commissioning a Sh5.3 billion ’empty’ Lower Nzoia Irrigation Project without involving the parent ministries.
On June 7, the DP went ahead to launch the irrigation project that cuts across Siaya and Busia counties at a time the line ministries claimed the whole project was a mere skeleton and not ready for the launch presided over by Ruto.
The controversial project is aimed at boosting rice production and preventing destructive floods. It covers Ugunja, Alego Usonga and Budalang’i constituencies.
Sugoi man launches projects without knowledge of line ministry PSs. 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/xFaOYo9lWp
— Rein (@Asamoh_) October 2, 2019
The three agencies at the centre of the implementation of the project told the Public Accounts Committee on Monday it was inappropriate to launch a project when the acquisition of land had not been settled.
The agencies also noted the project was not at the stage that it could be launched given it had many gaps that had to be fixed before any possible commissioning.
Water Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu, in what seemed like a classic case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, said the ministry was not aware of the DP’s plans.
“Had I been asked, I would have said we hold on as we had not compensated anybody in Siaya and it was not proper to go on with the launch,” Irungu told the committee.
“I am not able to confirm that the CS was contacted because there was no formal communication,” Irungu said of the presence of Water CS Simon Chelugui who was the only high ranking official accompanying the DP.
Chelugui, a former Jubilee Senate aspirant in Baringo, is a close associate of DP Ruto.
Ruto has previously come under fire for his zeal in launching development projects, with critics saying it’s a political tactic for his 2022 presidential bid.
However, David Mugonyi, communication secretary at the DP’s office, dismissed the assertions and said Ruto is the country’s second in command.
“The DP went there for inspection and he is the Deputy President of Kenya. Again, the officers were on the ground,” he told the Star.
NIB CEO Gitonga Mugambi who also attended alongside Chelugui said he was instructed by former PS Fred Sigor to attend and was not doing so on behalf of the Board.
courtesy The Star