By ROBERT KAMUKAMA
NAIROBI, Kenya [SHIFTMEDIA NEWS] Kenya’s Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has said the destruction of roads in Kisumu town caused by the anti-government protests will cost Ksh.200 million ($1.8M) to repair.
Murkomen, who spoke on Thursday in Isiolo County, faulted the opposition saying the continued demonstrations would be dealing a blow to the country financially due to the damages to roads and other critical infrastructure.
According to Citizen Digital, he singled out Kisumu County saying roads in the area have been greatly damaged saying the government will spend Ksh.200 million to repair only a small section of roads in the city’s Central Business District.
“Nimegadhabishwa sana, ukiona tunatengeneza barabara kilometer moja tunatumia pesa kadri ya milioni 50 na 80. Alafu unaona mtu ambaye anasema nia yake ni kupunguza gharama ya maisha ameenda kuweka tyres kwa barabara kuichoma,” he lamented.
”Kupitia pesa yao ya taxes wanaambiwa baada ya mwaka tunafanya mainatinance na kesho tunatumia 50-80 million.”
The CS continued: “Ukiona barabara zimechomwa Kisumu for the last two weeks, we will need not less than 200 million kwa area kidogo ya town kuziba ile mashimo yameharibiwa kwa sababu mtu ameenda kuchoma matyres.”
Murkomen reiterated that the burning of tyres destroys most tarmacs and leads to potholes.
In the same breath, Murkomen defended his past remarks where he said the destruction of the Nairobi Expressway last week would force the Ruto government to cough out Ksh.600 million for repairs.
His pronouncement caused a lot of buzz across social media with the majority of Kenyans criticising him for making up the number demanding proof of how he arrived at such an astronomical number.
In his remarks, however, Murkomen dismissed critics pointing out that underscoring that roads are expensive to build and maintain saying it currently costs between Ksh.50 – Ksh.80 million to build a kilometer of road.
“Juzi niliambia wakenya kuwa tutalipa karibu nusu bilioni kulipia Expressway. Kuna wengine wanafanya mzaha hapo kwa mtandao kwa sababu hawaelewi,” he said.
“Zile machines zote za kusoma magari na kupitisha magari… are not cheap. They are not like those sufurias they are putting on their heads; they are very expensive and will cost the taxpayers.”