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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Shock as Sh. 3.4 billion used to build 10km barbed wire fence

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Kenya-Somali border fence: The heat of shocking multi-billion scandals is yet to cool off. Now, a fresh multi-billion scandal involving the Ministry of Defense has come up. Apparently, the government paid some Sh. 3.4 billion.

Apparently, a fence project along the Kenya-Somali border that was meant to keep out Al-Ahaabab militants gobbled over Sh. 3.4 billion for a 10 kilometre stretch. This has been revealed in a report that was tabled in the National Assembly.

This means that Sh. 300 million was paid per kilometer on the security barrier consisting of chain link, razor barbed wire and concrete poles.

The idea to build the wall was approved by the National Security Advisory committee (NSAC) in 2015 and was to be undertaken by the ministry of Interior and Coordination of National government. However, it was later transferred to the Ministry of Defence following a presidential directive. “Before handing over of the project to the Ministry of Defence, the ministry had expended a total of Sh3, 380, 353, 960.52 as tabulated below,” states the report.

The report then gives a breakdown of the spending: Sh. 887 million (2014-2015 financial year), Sh. 306 million (2015-2016 financial year) and Sh. 578 million (2016-2017 financial year). This however adds up to Sh. 1.7 billion and it is unclear whether some expenditure has been skipped.

However, in another section, the report states Sh. 1.5 billion was reallocated to the ministry of Defence after the transfer of the project. Initial estimates by the Ministry of Defence put the total cost of the project at Sh8 billion. The money was to be spent on three sections of the project covering 700km. The three sections are Northern (Sh. 3.5 billion) covering 160km, Southern (Sh. 2.6 billion) covering 105km, and Central (Sh. 1.8 billion) with 445km.

According to The Standard newspaper, this money is more than that allocated the school feeding programme (Sh.2 billion), establishment of a cancer institute (Sh. 400 million) and roll-out of universal health coverage (Sh. 2.5 billion) in the 2018/2019 financial year.

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