Taxpayers will have to cough up an additional Sh300 million to fast-track the delivery of a new ferry for the Likoni channel, which is ‘stuck in Turkey’.

This was revealed Tuesday by Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) managing director Bakari Gowa when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Transport and Housing Committee.

A contract signed on June 27, 2015, says two ferries procured by the government were to be delivered by November 2016. But only one, the MV Jambo, was delivered in July 2017. Available information indicates that delivery of the second vessel was suspended by a court order.

Mr Gowa faced hostile MPs who wanted to know why Kenyans should pay an additional Sh300 million for the ferry.

The MD also annoyed MPs when he failed to provide details on the amount of money spent on the ferries so far.

“I don’t have the figures with me but I can provide them within five minutes,” Mr Bakari told the committee, chaired by Pokot South MP David Pkosing.

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“You are the MD of Kenya Ferry Services, how can you fail to have at your fingertips the figures paid so far and the balance?” asked Mr Pkosing.

The furious legislators said the MD had not taken his work seriously since his appointment in 2016.

“The MD is not serious. Every time he comes before this committee, he comes with piecemeal information, which is not helpful,” said Isiolo Woman Representative Rehema Jaldesa.

Couldn’t account for Sh1.8bn

To find out the truth, four MPs will travel to Turkey to check on the status of the ferry.

Last year, the Auditor-General Edward Ouko put KFS on the spot, saying it had failed to account for Sh1.8 billion it had budgeted for the two vessels.

In his report, Mr Ouko said he could not confirm the validity and accuracy of the building and supply of the ferries at a cost of Sh1,863,000,000, nor the propriety of expenditure totalling Sh1,519,379,614 to the contractor by June 30, 2017.

Interestingly, the contract was awarded to a company ranked fourth during the technical evaluation, with no explanation for the decision.