While the talented youth in Tharaka Nithi County look forward to showcasing their talents as the Sh.274 million modern stadium in Chuka town nears its completion, it is push and shove for the area politicians as they fight to take credit for the national government project.
A sharp eye could not fail to notice the County succession politics as the incumbent leaders came out to stamp their relevance in the national politics camouflaged under appreciation of the Jubilee government delivery of its promises to the people of Tharaka Nithi.
During an inspection visit at the Stadium by the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage (CS), Amb. Amina Mohammed on Saturday, the County Commissioner, Ms. Beverly Opwora pointed out clearly that Kirubia Stadium was one of the many national government projects in the county that would be completed soon, but her message was buried by the local leaders who took the centre stage to express their political stands.
Despite her being the national government’s representative at the County level, her presence was kept at bay and it took the wisdom of Amb. Mohammed to enable her give hope to the local youth as the future county sports centre approaches its completion.
The succession politics in the County that is known for tilting the national tally have already started taking shape and although the leaders united in their approach to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) early this year, they were clearly expressing their next political routes when push comes to shove.
On Saturday, Amb. Amina said Kirubia Stadium in the outskirts of Chuka town would be handed over to the county government by the President by the end of July.
“I am pleased to see how the County and national government are working together to see the completion of this major project and I can assure you that by the end of July, the President will be here to hand it over to the County government, ” said the CS.
When she was invited to the podium by the CS, the Tharaka Nithi County Commissioner (CC), Ms. Beverly Opwora disclosed that Kirubia stadium is one of the national government projects in the County scheduled to be completed this year.
Ms. Opwora further undertook to ensure that the youths benefit with employment, talent nurturing and other activities that would be taking place in the stadiums and other government projects in the county at large.
The County Governor, Muthomi Njuki took the opportunity to disclose that his government has already made a Memorandum of Understanding with Sports Kenya and assured the CS that the Stadium would be under good maintenance which would be protecting the legacy of Jubilee and President Uhuru Kenyatta leadership.
Muthomi said unlike other leaders who may mistakenly use national government projects as public relations exercises to create mileage for themselves the president has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is beyond such petty politics.
“The President promised the stadium among other projects to Tharaka Nithi County and he has delivered on them which will be a legacy that will live for many years. Some will come with PR projects but our president is not one of them. He has proved that he is a man of his words,” said Njuki.
Even the County Senator, Prof. Kithure Kindiki hailed the President for keeping his promises to the people by ensuring the stadium is complete.
Prof. Kindiki however, requested the President through the CS to bring back the contractor of Chuka- Kaareni road that goes to the county headquarters of Tharaka Nithi at Kathwana a stretch of only 30 km that is far from completion since its launch seven years ago.
“We thank the President for keeping his promises about this stadium but we have a major challenge of Chuka-Kaareni road which has taken 7 years to only construct 7 km yet it is only 30 km long. I’m requesting you to talk to the President or minister for roads to bring back the contractor so that that road can be completed,” said Professor Kindiki.
The Chuka Igambang’ombe Constituency Member of Parliament, Patrick Munene could not be left behind as he tried to remind the people of the existence of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in the area where the mega project is nearing completion.
The legislator said that it was their wish as the CDF office that the stadium would be completed and as the people of Tharaka Nithi, they were grateful to the President and his leadership.
Munene further appreciated that there are many projects in the county that have been completed under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta and they would only be happy if he comes back to witness the smiles on his people’s faces.
Once completed Kirubia stadium that is being run by Sports Kenya and under construction by Toddy Civil Engineering Company, is expected to boost the economy of Chuka town that is Tharaka Nithi County’s commercial hub.
It has an underground tank for storing water both for domestic use and watering the grass on the pitch and is therefore expected to remain green during all seasons a challenge that faces many modern stadiums in several counties across the country.
By David Mutwiri