Nyeri’s Ruring'u Stadium renovation saga has taken a new twist with Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu calling on government agencies to investigate the project which stalled close to two years ago due to lack of funds.
The MP is also demanding the immediate termination of the project contract, saying that its time lapsed six months after it was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017.
After touring the stadium at the weekend, Ngunjiri, who was speaking on the issue for the first time, expressed his disappointed saying that according to a report tabled in the Parliament, the project is 33 percent done but on the ground there is nothing.
"The contractor has been paid more than he has delivered. As a matter of fact, he owes the government money because he has been paid about Sh100 million but has done nothing," Ngunjiri lamented.
Commissioned in June, 2017
In 2017, the government undertook to upgrade the stadium to international status in six months at a cost of Sh320 million in phase one. That included the athletics track, a dais, terraces, and a drainage system.
The project was commissioned in June, 2017, but it stalled three months later after the contractor engaged in a protracted battle with the Kenya Power Company over a power line that had cut through the site.
The matter was resolved six months later but the project did not continue as expected due to cash delays. According to Ngunjiri, the money which has been paid to the contractor does not match the work which has been done.
"The contractor was paid Sh20 million in advance, then he was given Sh44 million for certificates and an additional Sh64 million for the work. What has he done?" Asked Ngunjiri.
Already, the county government has erected a perimeter fence around the stadium at a cost of Sh20 million but the plan was to fence it once the stadium is complete.
"The Sports, Arts and Culture Fund has enough money to pay for these projects. Why are they not doing it? I propose the government terminates this contract and instead give the works to NYS to complete it," said Ngunjiri.
The MP added that an audit was conducted by the government and it revealed that it does not owe any contractor any money but it is the contractors who owe the government.
"We are now calling upon the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to probe this matter and tell us what has happened.
“If someone has squandered public money, we should be told now. Otherwise, we want the stadium complete," he added.
But when contacted by Nation Sports, the contractor, Sam Mwaniki, dismissed Ngunjiri's figures as misleading and questioned the source of the information.
He said that the government had advanced Sh50 million for the project and later paid Sh36 million to get the work to the current status.
"Our scope was civil works and part of the dais. We have done well so far.
“The only thing remaining is finishing the VIP Pavilion, making the drainage and establishing a lawn in the pitch," said Mwaniki.
He disclosed that the project consultants have applied for the extension of the contract which has not been granted yet.
"The government through Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia has promised to release the funds any time now. We can only wait," said Mwaniki.