Construction works for a Sh500 million technical college commissioned in 2013 in Murang’a county has stalled and the site abandoned.
As a result, the proposed Murang’a Technical Training Institute (MTTI) expected to provide technical and technology courses to the increasing number of school leavers in the region remains a pipe dream.
The facility was started hurriedly five years ago and commissioned by Deputy President William Ruto. A visit by the People Daily found a site overgrown by thickets and wild grass, with building materials strewn on the compound being eroded by floodwaters.
A watchman and a representative of the contractor, Plumber Systems, were keeping watch over incomplete buildings. The groundbreaking function for the facility was held in May 2013.
This soon after the Jubilee government was elected for the first term in office under President Uhuru Kenyatta.The institution was scheduled to be completed within one year and was expected to open doors for pioneer students by September, 2014.
Phase One of the project was allocated Sh260 million and the contractor started construction. But five years later, the site has been abandoned, with several buildings only half built.
Sources say the contractor awarded the job is getting frustrated getting payments as agreed in the contract despite committing huge resources to embark on the project.
This has forced the contractor to abandon the site, after wasting time pursuing payments at the Ministry of Education headquarters, which is the project client.
The institute was initiated to replace the former Murang’a College of Science and Technology, which was elevated to university status in 2011. By now it could be enrolling more than 2,000 students for diploma and certificate craft courses.
Murang’a South Knut executive secretary, John Njata accuses the current elected Murang’a leaders for failing to push for the completion of the institution despite the region voting overwhelmingly for Jubilee leaders.
“The women representative, Sabina Chege, did nothing to assist the college when she was chairman of the powerful Parliamentary Education committee,” he said.
According to Reverend Anthony Gathanju Gathanju, chairman of Murang’a County Youth Polytechnics Forum, most local youths who finish Class Eight and Form Four become idlers due to shortage of facilities to train them in craft and vocational skills.
He is calling on the Education ministry to avail funds to the contractor to facilitate completion of the project. A visit by Ruto to the site on November 5, 2016 did not help to unlock funds to the project.
Ruto was prevailed upon by some Maragua professionals to inspect the abandoned institute, following the let down by the elected politicians. It was expected work would resume to successful completion, to no avail.