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Monday, 3 February 2014

Tarmac at Last

Contractors sought for
Makutano Kithimani road

By Martin Masai

FINALLY, the Makutano-Kithimani road is to be tarmacked. The Machakos County Government has floated tenders for the 33 kilometer stretch worth over  Sh 550million.

The project is split to 11 tenders of 3kms, each valued at Sh 50m. Prospective bidders are asked to submit bids by January 28 2014 and tenders will be opened the same day. A bidders conference was held on January 21 at the Machakos Social Hall.
The advertisement posted by County Secretary Mr Francis Mwaka indicates that no contractor will be awarded more than one tender. “Youth, Women, Persons With Disability and upcoming contractors are encouraged to apply”, the invitation adds. This means that there will be 11 contractors on sight on same day and each is expected to compete to complete one’s three kilometer stretch perfectly and in record time. Machakos Minister for Roads and Housing Mr George Kioko wa Luka said the tender was segmented to kill condescending interest in the tender and ensure that  county resources are spread wide to as many contractors as possible. “The aim is to spread the cake as widely and as reasonably  as possible. We want the project to take the shortest,  if not record time to complete, which is in line with Governor Mutua’s approach in service delivery. It will be super and swift”  Kioko said.
The road is to provide a vital link between Machakos and the Thika- Garissa Road, making the route the shortest to Embu, Thika and Mwingi. When complete, it will shorten the distance to Mombasa from Embu and other parts of Central Kenya and Upper Eastern Province.
It will save time and resources to residents and business people who tread along the route in terms of maintenance costs for vehicles and time taken when maneuvering the rough terrain.
When complete, Dr Mutua will be fulfilling one of his campaign promises to local residents and the project will pile up among his quick fixes since he was elected as governor. Already he has helped put up an international stadium that staged CECAFA matches and has laid out foundation for a new city in Machakos. Besides, Mutua has put up street lights from the Machakos – Nairobi- Mombasa road turn off and launched a food production programme in the whole county.
The tarmacking of the road-popularly known as Kithimani Road will provide one of the key missing links in road networks in Ukambani. Other missing link is the Tala- Donyo Sabuk road, Kamuthanga- Kangundo stretch, the Konza- Mombasa road link and more significantly the Kitui- Kibwezi road. Past brakthroughs in Ukambani road networks include the Kanyoonyoo- Kitui road and Wote- Makindu road.

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