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Echesa sacking hailed as Bunge team visits stalled Marsabit stadium site

Tourism, Sports and Culture Parliamentary Select Committee has hailed the sacking of former Sports and Culture Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa saying the new leadership of the Ministry could kick-start the construction of the stalled Marsabit stadium.
The committee was on a one day monitoring and evaluation tour of the sh.373 million flagship project Saturday.
The team of five led by vice chair Dr. Korei Ole Lemein (Narok South) said officials in the ministry of Sports have been giving false information concerning the on-going construction of Marsabit stadium.
Voi MP Jones Mlolwa questioned the boldness of the site engineers and Sports Kenya supervisors to disregard the fact that the foundation stone for the stadium was laid by President Uhuru Kenyatta on 26Th July 2017 only for the work to be abandoned.
The team expressed disappointment that the construction of the Marsabit stadium has stalled despite funds being allocated by the government.
The tour by the committee which coincided with the sacking of sports cabinet secretary Rashid Echesa was well received by residents of Marsabit County who said a new leadership in the ministry was needed if the sector was to be transformed.
The project co-funded by the national government and the county government at Sh 295.2 million and Sh 77 million respectively was supposed to be completed in 12 months starting from March, 2017 but was abandoned at 30 per cent completion.
The contractors have since been advanced Sh. 103 million; Sh. 62,182,305 from the ministry of sports and sh. 41 million by the county government.
Mr. Mlolwa noted that only the leveling of the football pitch and an attempt to construct the two pavilions was made by the national government.
“As we have seen, the construction of two public pavilions by the national Government never took place because one stalled upon installation of the supporting foundation columns while the other did not pass the excavation level,” observed Mr. Mlolwa.
The national government’s constructor, BENISA Limited and who was absent during the site visit did not attempt to build the netball, volleyball, basketball and handball pitches while the third pavilion was not factored in the budget.
The members further questioned the omission of the third pavilion despite being factored in the architectural designs and bill of quantities while nothing had been done so far for the public parking area and washrooms.
Igembe Central MP Kubai Iringo called on the national government to ensure that no other regional stadia were started before the Marsabit project is completed as per the president’s directive.
The legislator said the team had established that the contractor did not have the capacity to undertake the enormous job.
“The football pitch was only leveled, the field track not built and no pitch irrigation works has been done,” he noted adding that the rains have damaged most of the work done because drainage was not done.
The team was categorical that those responsible should be held accountable because it was not clear why money was allocated and no work was going on.
Kajiado West MP George Sunkuiya challenged the national government to rise to the occasion as a partner in the project by availing funds and ensuring due diligence to avert misappropriation of funds.
He hailed the county government for its effort to do their part by resuming construction of the remaining portion of the VIP pavilion despite delayed funding from the national Treasury.
“We are very much disappointed with our findings today since what we hear and see on media about the implementation of Marsabit Stadium project is all false,” pointed out Mr. Sunkuiya.
Marsabit CEC for education, Sports and youth development Umuro Roba stressed that construction of the VIP pavilion at the stadium which resumed in January this year was on course.
“The remaining portion of the VIP pavilion which we undertook to build is on course as money has been set aside for that,” he said adding that the areas that need attention include the seating dais, offices parking and the ablution sections.
Also in the team was Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali and Marsabit deputy county commissioner Joseph Nyakwara.
Youths told KNA that non-completion of the stadium was denying them a chance to exploit their talents as the county had no single developed sporting facility.
By Sebastian Miriti

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