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Contractors’ bank loans stall as probe halts cheques

Contractors affected by the ongoing investigations into tendering corruption in Kitui are facing rough times with banks, even as the county government called for calm.

Most of the merchants have difficulties repaying bank loans taken to fund the Sh1.3 billion infrastructure contracts being investigated by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Detectives raided county offices last week and carted away heaps of documents in two pickup trucks.

AUCTION

Most contractors have defaulted on their loans as payments, including for 89 questionable local service orders (LSOs), cannot be processed until the investigations are complete.

The wide scale of the inquiry means it could take several weeks.

“Most of us are in deep trouble with banks and could be auctioned anytime,” said one of the contractors who spoke to the Nation.

With the General Elections in August, said the trader, the matter could drag on for months if the government suspends financial operations.

DEFAULT CASES
Credit managers at Equity Bank and KCB said they had stopped financing LPOs from the county due to rising cases of default.

Acting County Secretary Alex Kimanzi has, however, urged the affected contractors to remain calm.

He cautioned politicians against fuelling propaganda around the issue.

In a press statement, Mr Kimanzi confirmed that 89 LSOs relating to development projects had been cited in allegations of improper procurement procedures and that the county was cooperating with EACC officials.

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