Sh16bn Kibaki-era housing units stall for lack of funding


A stalled housing project started by the Office of the President in Wote Town, Makueni County, in 1989. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Hundreds of housing projects worth Sh15.7 billion started during former President Mwai Kibaki’s regime have stalled, a report tabled in Parliament shows.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Administration abandoned 227 housing projects in 2014.

Housing Principal Secretary Solomon Kitungu told MPs that the 227 abandoned government buildings have not been funded since 2015. The white elephants were meant to house civil servants.

The huge number of stalled projects, which comes with delayed payments to contractors, is accumulating pending bills, increasing completion costs, and could expose taxpayers to legal compensation claims by affected contractors if cancelled.

“The buildings projects stalled due to lack of funding. In the financial year 2014/15, Sh1.24 billion was allocated to the Stalled Buildings Program with priority being given to projects that were at least 90 percent complete,” Mr Kitungu said.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Transport and Housing committee, Mr Kitungu said despite the Housing Ministry requesting funds every financial year, no money has been allocated to complete the projects.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Housing has asked that we revisit the whole stalled project programme with a view to complete them. We are also considering returning the stalled projects to mother ministries, departments, or agencies so that they can find money to complete what they started,” Mr Kitungu said.

He said the Housing Ministry will develop a Cabinet Memorandum for the Cabinet to sanction the allocation of funding to complete the 227 projects.

“These houses were meant to give shelter to civil servants. The government has Housing as part of its Big Four agenda. Why not complete these houses and sell to Kenyans?” said David Pkosing, who chairs the Transport and Housing committee.

The Pokot South MP directed the PS to explore the public-private partnership (PPP) option to complete all stalled housing projects and dispose of them to Kenyans.

Mr Kitungu was responding to a question filed by Makueni MP Dan Maanzo who sought to know when Wote Housing projects which were started more than 30 years ago will be completed. The government started building the Makueni housing units in 1989 but the projects stalled when works were at 10 percent.

The stalled housing units comprise three sites of 170 blocks of Type C, 10 blocks of Type E and 30 blocks of Type D. It also includes servants’ quarters.

“We have proposed to implement the project in three phases and it will require Sh567 million to start works,” he said.

He said the government had allocated the project Sh145 million in the financial year to June 2015 but the project has since not received any further funding.

Mr Kitungu said the project consultant, M/s Habitech, estimated that it would cost Sh1,273,062,122 to complete the project.