Nakuru County sued over free Wifi flop

The Nakuru County Government has been sued for information relating to an ambitious free wifi project that failed a few hours following its launch.

A civil society group, Counties Efficiency in Development (Cedev), the Rift Valley Law Society of Kenya, and Nakuru town East MP David Gikaria want the court to compel the county government and the AG to provide them with copies of the contract between the county and the entity which was contracted to install the wifi infrastructure in the town.

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Through lawyer John Githui, the petitioners told Judge Hellen Omondi that they had separately written to the county government requesting for information on the deal which requests had been rebuffed.

They added that they were told that the project was undertaken at the insistence of state house and that the county government had never provided any funds for it. However, there lacked documentary proof of the claim.

The wifi project which was launched in Nakuru in March this year was fronted by State House director for Digital communication Dennis Itumbi in partnership with Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua’s office.

The petitioners have further told the court that the project which was undertaken between March and May this year and was highly publicized was a complete flop as there has never been any free or quick internet services to the residents of Nakuru as had been promised.

They add that they estimate that close to Sh300 million was spent on the failed project and want the court to also order the county government and the AG’s office to provide them with copies of the pre-qualification and proceedings of the tendering body that shows how the decision to award the tender to the contractor who carried out the project was arrived at.

Furthermore, the petitioners have asked the court to order that they be provided with copies of the hansard detailing the deliberations for the expenditure of the project and how the county assembly approved it.

While asking Judge Omondi to declare the case urgent, the petitioners told the court that unless the hearing was expedited, the respondents were likely to get a chance to doctor some of the documents to support their heavy expenditure for a failed project.

Judge Omondi ordered the petitioners to serve the AG and the county government with the suit papers and further directed all parties to appear before her on July 8 for the hearing of the case.

– the-star.co.ke

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