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Thika Town residents are unhappy over the delay in the completion of Kenyatta Highway, claiming that the contractor, had failed to complete work on a less than 1-km road,  almost a year after being awarded the project, literary doing anything tangible on site. The construction work has been dragging on because of lax oversight from the government authorities responsible. 

The delays are causing businessmen to incur huge loses and inconveniencing majority of Thika residents who use this part of the road daily. The highway sees an average 50,000 road users each day.

 “The condition of this road has created problems not just for the residents who love around, but also pedestrians and vehicles. This contractor has been acting in a negligent manner and the government authorities have turned a blind eye to the problem,’’ said a resident of Kimathi Estate who spoke on camera.

It is now apparent that the contractors assigned the job to do Kenyatta Highway are just buying time with the contract. It is now more than a week since the works stalled and still no activity is visible on site.

“We will start agitating for our rights as tax payers if this contractor fails to live up to his contract. There is no way we can keep on incurring loses due to his delays. Business here has virtually stalled especially with the rains. Had it not been for their delaying tactics, the construction would have completed long ago,’’ said one of the traders who operate along that road.

The delay has been mounting pressure on motorists and commuters who are at times forced to use alternative routes to avoid congestion along Kimathi and Pilot Estates especially during the rush hours.

“We are used to road constructions but this one does not meet the standards,” said one driver who drives a 2TS matatu.

“The road is quite narrow at some parts and two vehicles cannot properly bypass each other due to the soil and construction materials that they have dumped along the road. They have deserted the place since last week and given that there is going to be heavy rains, we are staring at a disaster,” he added.

They are now calling on the relevant government authorities to desist from awarding contracts to companies that are notorious of delay tactics and those who have pending contracts. They say that there was need for sanity to be restored in the construction sector and adding that such companies should be blacklisted and denied any more contracts.

“The government should involve the locals in monitoring the progress of such projects so as to ensure that people get value for money. We should not encourage this kind of 'get-rich-quick schemes' by rogue contractors who are out to make a killing out of the contracts awarded to them,’’ said concluded the trader who we had spoken to earlier in this interview.

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