Kenya

Road builder sues Kwale over threats to terminate contract

Road builder sues Kwale over threats to terminate contract

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya during a press briefing in his offices on August 2,2021. He has banned all the sporting activities in the county in a new move to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Photo credit: Siago Cece I Nation Media Group.

A construction company has sued the Kwale County government and two of its officials seeking to permanently restrain them from cancelling or terminating a road tarmacking contract.

End to End Ltd also wants officials restrained from issuing it with a default notice in the contract for paving the Kona ya Musa-Mabokoni road in Ukunda.

The company told the High Court in Mombasa that the officials had failed to resolve outstanding issues and were threatening to terminate the contract.

After winning the contract, the company said it wrote a letter to the county government seeking to have the start date for the work delayed due to Covid-19.

It argues that even though the start date was March 18 last year, officials did not hand over the site until June 4.

“The delay in handing over the site by the county government which was caused by no fault of the plaintiff affected the contractual timelines and the completion date which was set for March 17 2021,” the company argues.

Besides the delay, the company said, it encountered several other challenges, among them stringent measures imposed by the Ministry of Health to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

It also claims delayed appointment of an engineer by the chief officer Road and Public Works and delegation of powers.

In a letter to the county government, the company sought to extend the deadline for completing the work from March to November 2021, citing circumstances beyond its control.

End to End says that it notified officials via a letter of its intentions to demand price variations in accordance with a clause in the contract.

It says the variations were prompted by an increase in the prices of general items, costs of labour, contractor’s equipment, plants and machinery materials and other inputs.

The company says county officials have failed to respond or ignored the issue of price variations and other outstanding matters.

The company says that it holds the county government in breach of the contract because officials have failed to address outstanding issues so that it can resume work and complete the project.

It is also seeking a permanent injunction restraining county officials from cashing in, removing or withdrawing money related to the advance payment guarantee issued by a bank.

The company also damages for breach of contract and full payment of work already completed.