The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has lost bid to recover Sh17 million paid to a contractor 16 years ago for clearance of bushes and rehabilitation of the right of way along the Mombasa–Nairobi and Nairobi–Eldoret pipeline routes.
In its court papers, KPC had claimed that Kanyotta Holdings Limited received Sh17,916,038 while it had failed to complete the works as contracted.
Mr Edwin Omollo, a senior civil engineer working with the KPC since 1999, told the court that the payments did not tally with actual value of works carried out on site.
He added that some of the work claimed as done by the contractor had actually been carried out by the civil and building section of the KPC as part of their maintenance and rehabilitation activities.
But justice Maureen Odero dismissed the claim upon finding that it is inconceivable that such a large sum of money could be paid out to a contractor by KPC without the requisite confirmations and approvals.
“The Defendants (KPC) have failed to prove that the Plaintiffs (Kanyotta Holdings) were paid when no works had been undertaken or where the works were found to be unsubstantial. If this were the case then I am certain no payment would have been made to the Plaintiffs at all. I therefore find that the Defendants have failed to prove their counter-claim,” said justice Odera.
The judge noted that the KPC senior civil engineer had confirmed to court that no contractor can be paid any amount unless a certificate of payment signed by the KPC’s site engineers confirming that the work for which payment is being invoiced has actually been done, certified and approved.
Under cross-examination, the engineer stated that he was unable to confirm whether KPC supervisors certified the works done by the contractor.
“How then can the KPC claim that the payment to the contractor of this Sh17,916,038 was not properly approved and certified?” Posed the judge.
She ordered the parastal to pay the contractor a balance of Sh14,585,315 together with interests from October 2004 when the case was filed in court until payment in full.
Kanyotta Holdings Managing Director Mr Wachira Muritu told court that his company was awarded the contract vide a letter dated November 5, 2002.
He said the entire contract involved the building and establishment of gabions, clearing of bushes along the KPC’s right of way as well as the protection of the pipeline from being washed away by rain and ensuring that the pipeline was properly secured and protected from damage by rains.
Mr Muritu said his firm completed the work and received Sh17 million leaving a balance of Sh14.5 million.
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