Connect with us

Business News

City Hall blamed for Sh437 million CCTV glitch




City Hall contractors blamed for Sh437 million CCTV glitch

A technician repairs a CCTV camera in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A Transport ministry engineer has blamed City Hall for the malfunctioning of the Sh437 million closed-circuit television cameras, saying their operation has destroyed the fibre network.

Wachira Gitau, who is based at the Nairobi Metropolitan Department at the ministry, told the county assembly that contractors cut power and communication cables along Lusaka-Mombasa-Lang’ata roads roundabout in 2014 rendering the CCTVs faulty.

“This transmission is done through fibre optic. Whoever cut the fibre was supposed to repair. He was your (City Hall) contractor, not our (national government) contractor,” Mr Gitau told the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday.

He said the destruction of the infrastructure cut communication between 26 cameras and the command centre at City Hall Annex and the police monitoring unit at Jogoo House.

He disclosed that the City Hall had, through a letter to the Land ministry, agreed to foot the cost of repairing the infrastructure alongside cameras and lights at the University Way-Uhuru Highway roundabouts at a total cost of Sh7.2 million.

The repairs included Sh5.4 million for traffic signals and cameras at the University Way -Uhuru Highway roundabout that rioting University of Nairobi students damaged in December 2013.

He added that the project was to be handed over to the Ministry of Interior and National Co-ordination, raising questions why City Hall undertook to foot the damages caused by the university students, which is a national government entity.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko in his 2015-16 report said the project was a failure, costing taxpayers millions of shillings.

The project has been marred by allegations that the cameras produced low-quality images that could not be relied on by security agencies.

The 26 cameras are part of 42 that Chinese firm Nanjing Les Information Technology Ltd installed in 2014 as part of the Integrated Urban Surveillance System project by the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan.

The 2012 contract entailed installation of cameras and associated software, new traffic management systems and construction of a nerve centre manning key roads including Moi Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Kenyatta Avenue and Tom Mboya Street.