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Chinese contractor takes responsibility for collapsed Sh1.2b Sigiri bridge

The Chinese company constructing the sh1.2 billion Sigiri bridge in Budalang’i constituency has accepted responsibility for the mishap.

Chinese Oversees Construction and Engineering Company project manager Jerome Xzue Hua however defended the firm against claims that they did not adhere to safety standards when constructing the bridge.

“We adhered to all the set standards before and during the construction of the bridge… this is very unusual because all the standards and specification required by the employer were met,” Mr Hua told journalists on Monday evening.

“We have experienced engineers and we are equally baffled by what happened. We hope to find the root cause of the problem and rectify the matter,” he went on.

CAN BE REPAIRED

He, however, pointed out that the bridge can be repaired.

President Kenyatta, during his campaign tour of the region two weeks ago to drum up support for his re-election, promised residents that the bridge will be in use  from next month.

Witnesses told Nation.co.ke that the bridge began shaking before the middle segment collapsed.

Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba described the incident as ‘catastrophic’.

“I want to express my deep sympathy to all those who were injured in the mishap. I want to wish them a quick recovery,” he said.

He revealed that he consulted with President Kenyatta over the issue, who assured him of the government’s commitment to ensuring that the bridge is completed.

“The government has also undertaken to foot all the medical bills of those injured. The dream for the Sigiri bridge still lives on. Nothing will dampen this spirit,” he told residents.

He called on security agencies to  find the cause of the incident.

ECONOMIC SABOTAGE

“We cannot rule out economic sabotage especially after the Standard Gauge Railway was once targeted. I want to rebuke those characters that may want to use this incident to gain political mileage,” he added.

He criticised Mr Odinga for playing politics with the mishap.

“Let him not play politics with development and the lives of our people,” said Mr Namwamba.

On Monday, Mr Odinga, speaking in Bondo, Siaya County, asked President Kenyatta to take responsibility for the collapse of the bridge.

He claimed the project was conceived by the grand goalition government, in which he was Prime Minister, but was rushed by the Jubilee regime at the expense of the safety of residents.