Home > Counties >  Stadium completion date to be announced next week

 Stadium completion date to be announced next week

The fate of the stalled construction of the iconic Ruring’u Stadium will be established on Monday next week when the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Ababu Namwamba, is expected to visit the stadium, Nyeri Town legislator Duncan Mathenge has revealed.

Speaking during Rikiratha breakfast show on Kameme TV on Thursday, Mathenge said that President William Ruto had directed the CS to see to it that the bottlenecks that have continued to delay the completion of the project are resolved.

“This is one of the flagship projects that is supposed to boost sports and increase the county’s capacity to develop and nurture talent once it is completed. During the meeting with Mount Kenya Leaders at the Sagana State lodge, President Ruto directed that the Sports CS assess the stadium on Monday next week and ensure that the facility is completed,” stated Mathenge.

The revelation comes a day after the Sports CS ordered an immediate halt to the construction works at the stadium due to what he termed as sub-standard quality of work by the contractor. Speaking during a breakfast event organised to recognise local sports journalists in Nairobi, Namwamba said he was shocked to find that the quality of work being undertaken at the Ruring’u stadium was below par.

“I know that when you tell Kenyans that you will transform our infrastructure for sports and the arts, they are very sceptical because that space has been badly managed. You go around the country and you see some very poorly done facilities,” said Namwamba.

“Yesterday, I attended the Cabinet meeting in Sagana and after, the president told me, ‘I want you to go to Ruring’u Stadium to check its status and go to Othaya Stadium’. Immediately after the meeting, I went to Ruring’u and what I saw there is really criminal and I even told the characters working there to please stop because what you are doing is criminal. The standard of work is below zero,” the CS said.

“That kind of history engenders and encourages scepticism. So I do understand when Kenyans feel doubtful when we make commitments to make things better. But I am assuring Kenyans that this is a new regime, with a new sheriff in town with a Bottom-up Transformation Agenda as our platform, and we will make change in this country,” added Namwamba.

Before the Tuesday directive by CS Namwamba, the former Sports Principal Secretary, Jonathan Mueke, had in May this year promised to deliver a complete Ruring’u stadium by October this year. Mueke said that he would be partnering with the Nyeri County government, Sports Kenya and the local elected leaders to resolve the stalemate that has seen the 20,000-seater facility’s completion stall for six years.

“We have faced a lot of challenges. The construction has been behind schedule for a very long time. Very little has been done compared to what had been planned,” said Mueke.

“We are going to sit down jointly with the county government of Nyeri, Sports Kenya plus the local leadership so that we can put our heads together and solve the challenges to ensure that we can complete this facility in the shortest time possible,” he added.

The stadium was commissioned by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta in June 2017, and was poised to be the biggest sporting facility in the Mount Kenya region. The facility was to feature a modern changing room, a sports shop, a restaurant, spectator terraces and a VIP terrace.

Initially, the project was supposed to be completed in December 2020 but has stalled three times owing to various reasons, including delayed payment to the initial contractor.

At the time of the commissioning, the uplift was to take place in two phases, with the first phase costing Sh230 million. According to the plan of works, in the first phase, the contractor was to lay down a tartan track, a football pitch, a changing room and a VIP dais. During the second phase, a warm-up track, pay booths and indoor sports arenas were to be constructed at a cost of Sh220 million. In all, the upgrade was to cost the taxpayer Sh450 million.

By Wangari Mwangi

Leave a Reply