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Parliament probes Sh1 billion Githurai Market whose initial budget was Sh827M

PS Hinga grilled on Sh1 billion Githurai Market whose initial budget was Sh827 million

The newly built Githurai market in Kiambu County

Charles Hinga, the Principal Secretary for Housing, has come under scrutiny for the utilization of Sh1 billion in the construction of Githurai Market, inaugurated by President William Ruto on August 5.

During his appearance before the National Assembly Committee on Housing on August 28, PS Hinga explained the rationale behind the escalated construction cost of the Sh1 billion market.

He attributed the increase to modifications made to the building's design, emphasising enhanced functionality for the traders and improved installations.

Hinga elaborated that the design of the five-story structure underwent alterations to accommodate the needs of the traders more effectively.

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The original cost projection, documented by Parliament, estimated the market's construction expenses at Sh827 million.

However, the final expenditure reached Sh1.026 billion, raising concerns among lawmakers.

The PS also outlined that the augmented expenditure was a conscious effort to elevate the market's visual appeal.

"As the project progressed, there were adjustments to the scope of work and design changes that necessitated a cost review, leading to the contract sum of Sh1.026 billion," he noted.

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He further acknowledged the challenges faced by officials in conducting site visits due to the complex and potentially hostile environment, as the market hosts nearly 11,000 traders.

Nevertheless, the Parliamentary Committee, under the leadership of Johana Ngeno, posed critical questions to the PS.

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The MPs demanded the submission of the initial market design and related documentation for a thorough review.

The increase in the market's cost raises concerns, especially considering the government's intention to develop more than 50 markets nationwide.

The inception of the Githurai Market's construction dates back to 2019, following a directive by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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