Uasin-Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago led residents of Cheptiret area in blocking the busy Eldoret-Nakuru-Nairobi highway, inconveniencing motorists for over five hours.
Using two county government lorries registration KBU745T and KBU 746T, Mandago obstructed traffic along the highway completely paralysing transport.
The governor was laying demands to Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) officials to construct a parking space and tarmac Cheptiret Market centre.
Mandago confronted KENHA engineers in an altercation that saw anti-riot police being called in as the situation threatened to spill out of control.
Wareng District Commissioner (DC) Seif Matata was left at the centre of the chaos as he acted as the mediator between the governor and KENHA engineers when communication hit the wall.
KENHA is charged with refurbishing of the highway, a project that is currently under way.
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The governor expressed his concern that KENHA was not doing enough in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility thereby laying his demands to the parastatal.
“The company can no longer deny members of the public utilities. We have told the engineers to build a parking space for the people of Cheptiret, but they have been evading the issue,” said Mandago.
“I wish he had summoned these officials to his office. Why stop traffic at such a busy highway?”, complained Juma Mwasera, a truck driver.
“I have made huge losses today. This is not how to solve issues,” complained Benson Omondi.
The highway was finally re-opened at 5pm when the governor removed the county’s lorries.
The governor claims that a KENHA engineer insulted him as he sought to address the issue.
“I will not allow the engineer to work anywhere in Uasin-Gishu county. I will not be insulted by employees in this county,” he added.
The KENHA consultant, who was caught up in the altercation, explained that his company had provided 150 trucks of mill materials towards the construction of a parking.
“We have the materials ready; we are only waiting for an official plan from KENHA,” said the consultant.
Mandago, who could not take the explanation, ordered the KENHA official to stop delay tactics asking him to commence on constructing the parking space immediately.
“We give you until 1st June to construct the parking and to tarmac the market centre failure to which I will forcefully stop the road construction work and make you to prioritise the Cheptiret centre parking lot,” he threatened.
Meanwhile, enraged motorists stuck in the traffic snarl-up along the highway, expressed anger and irritation at the way the governor had handled the situation.