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Government terminates contract for Wote Stadium

The government has terminated the contract for the construction of Wote stadium in Makueni County over delays.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohammed said the ministry was dissatisfied with the progress of the Sh.350 million stadium and directed the contractor Nitram and Traphes Limited to stop construction works forthwith.

“I am very disappointed with the work, the delays are inexcusable and I would not encourage the contractor to do any more work,” said CS Amina.

The CS accused the contractor of deliberately dragging his feet on the project, despite the government disbursing almost 50 percent of the funds upfront.

“We have already paid Sh.147 million to the contractor yet the overall construction stands at 35 percent. We shall be seeking a refund for the works not done,” she said.

Speaking on Tuesday when she toured the site at Wote town, CS Amina said the National Youth Service (NYS) will take over the construction of the stadium which was expected to be complete by December last year.

“We don’t want to restart the process of procuring and the NYS will, with very firm instructions, complete the project in record time,” she added.

The CS defended the termination of the contract, saying due process had been followed before the decision was made.She noted that despite the ministry issuing several warnings and notices over the slow progress of the stadium, the contractor failed to comply with the set timelines.

“We have given the contractor ample time. There is no reason why the project should not have been completed by last year as agreed. We arrived at the decision based on recommendations from the Sports Kenya Board and the County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC),” said CS Amina.

The CS noted that the stadium and two others that she declined to name had been delayed unnecessarily, saying the government was keen on delivering on all the stadia promised.

“Kisumu, Kiringiti and Jamhuri Park stadia are progressing well. Unfortunately we haven’t spent so much time in any other stadium like Wote. The government gave the promise and committed resources to ensure the projects are completed and opened for use,” she said.

The CS was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Simon Chelagui, Sports Kenya Chairman, Fred Muteti, Sports Kenya Director General Pius Metto, Sports Kenya Board member, Mwangi Muthee and Makueni County Commissioner, Maalim Mohammed.

CS Chelagui reiterated Amina’s sentiments saying prolonged delays of the stadium was a disservice to the people of Makueni.

He noted that despite the variations of the design that the contractor had cited as the major hindrance, the stadium should have been completed by now.

“The people of Makueni will not understand the excuses. The stadium should be completed and handed over to benefit residents,” said the labour CS.

Sport Board Member Muthee also speaking during the tour accused the contractor of incompetence, saying cracks on the pitch were a sign of structural weaknesses.

“The integrity of the work is worrying, the contractor has no capacity to do the work,” he said.

The Managing Director Nitram and Traphes Limited Mark Muendo however defended his work and attributed the slow progress to delayed funding and last minute changes in the designs.

“The land was also soggy and sloppy where we are putting up the pavilion, forcing us to use boulders. It also takes us up to four months to get paid whenever we raise a completion certificate,” said Muendo.

The stadium was launched by Deputy President William Ruto in 2017 but stalled due to lack of funds.

The project includes a pavilion, a track, a pitch and a parameter wall.

The contractor has already put up the perimeter wall and laid groundwork for the pitch.

by Roselyne Kavoo

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