Inflate project costs at own peril, CS warns

Matiang’i vows stern action against ministry staff colluding with contractors to steal public funds

Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i has warned officials in his ministry against colluding with corrupt contractors to inflate cost of projects, saying stern action will be taken against them.

Tough-talking Matiang’i said projects worth millions of shillings had stalled because of officers demanding kickbacks, adding that this is  frustrating President Uhuru Kenyatta’s development agenda.

Speaking at Nakuru G K Prisons where he officially opened the recently completed houses for wardens and other staff, the CS also warned land grabbers targeting Kenya Prisons land that their days are numbered.

Deplorable condition

“Sometimes public officers are the ones who make life unnecessarily difficult for our people and officers. I plead with my senior colleagues here, let us be honest in our work,” he said.

The 48 units opened yesterday had stalled since 2011. “We make our officers live in very deplorable conditions because of small issues such as delayed  reports. How long does it take to write a report? What kind of people have we become?” he asked.

Matiang’i said the President is  committed to changing the lives and conditions of  prison officers. “You have seen what has happened since Jubilee came to power in 2013 in terms of addressing the welfare of security officers,” he said.

The CS assured all stalled housing for officers will be completed within the next months. “We will not allow contractor  to vary costs. We will arrest you if you try playing such games,” he warned.

Learning facilities

He lauded Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, also in attendance, for showing high level of cooperation in matters touching on security and correctional services.

Kinyanjui urged the CS to ensure learning facilities are opened in prisons to carter for children who find themselves there with their mothers. “We cannot subject innocent children to suffering because of sins of their mothers,” he said.

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