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Parliamentary team issues ultimatum on Ruring’u Stadium

Monday December 2 2019

A murky athletics track at Ruring’u stadium in Nyeri on June 4, 2019. Works at the stadium stalled a year ago following cash delays from the national government. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A murky athletics track at Ruring’u stadium in Nyeri on June 4, 2019. Works at the stadium stalled a year ago following cash delays from the national government. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION MEDIA GROUP

JOSEPH KANYI
By JOSEPH KANYI
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The Parliamentary Committee in charge of sports has given the Sports Ministry a three-month ultimatum to address the stalemate in the construction of stadiums in the country.

Speaking at Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri County, the committee chairman Victor Munyaka termed the status of Ruring’u Stadium ‘a big shame.’ Reconstruction work on the stadium was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta three years ago.

"We are on a fact-finding mission to establish whether public money has been misused in all the stadiums which have stalled in the country. After this, we are going to recommend a thorough audit of what has been done through engineers and other experts who will give a report on the quality of work and if there is value for money," said Munyaka.

He added: "As a committee, we blame the Ministry of Sports and Sports Kenya who have the responsibility to do this job. We are also blaming the contractor because we have noted that there has been poor communication and coordination of the progress of work between him and the consultants who are even not here."

Going by the current status of the stadium and the money which has been disbursed already by the government, Munyaka said it was possible that money meant for constructing the stadium had been misused.

This inspection comes barely two weeks after Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu raised the red flag over the stadium. Ngunjiri called upon the government agencies to find out if money meant for the project had been squandered.

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Ngunjiri, who had accompanied the committee during the inspection tour at the weekend, maintained his stand that the government should commission the National Youth Service and engineers from the military to take over work on the facility.

"The Kenyan youth is not interested in government bureaucracies as to who is holding the money or who is not doing this or that. All they want is a facility to train and grow their talents," said Ngunjiri.

Another committee member, Dan Wanyama, urged the President to intervene in the matter of the stalled stadiums in the country, adding that Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia must be held to account.

"If the two are not able to perform this primary task, they should step aside and let other able Kenyans deliver this job. As of now, the Ministry of Sports cannot say it does not have money because 35 per cent of betting taxes are being channelled directly to their docket," lamented Wanyama.

He disclosed that the ministry is focused on high-end games like golf and motorsport, neglecting the common youth.

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