Governor Cheboi to complete multimillion-shilling stadium project
What you need to know:
- Governor disputed claims that money meant for the stadium was misappropriated during his tenure, as first Baringo Governor
- He explained that the project was allocated only Sh40 million, which went into construction of a perimeter wall, levelling the field and installing a main gate
Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi has said he will prioritise the completion of the stalled multimillion-shilling Kabarnet stadium in Kabarnet.
The flagship project started eight years ago and was to be completed in 2018, but it became a white elephant.
Touring the stadium on Monday, he lamented that the perimeter wall was falling and gullies had developed in the open field that used to host football games and athletics.
"We are worried that a project that was started during my tenure in 2014 is yet to be completed several years on,” Mr Cheboi said.
“Despite the few challenges, I also blame the previous government who took after me for failing to continue with it just because of mere politics. I promise locals that very soon its construction works will commence.”
Disputes misappropriation claims
He disputed claims that money meant for the stadium was misappropriated during his tenure, explaining that the project was allocated only Sh40 million, which went into construction of a perimeter wall, levelling the field and installing a main gate.
“I also want to dispute claims that the stadium is lacking a title deed yet all public institutions in this region have no documentation but construction works are going on,” he said.
“We have schools, hospitals that have been built on land allocated for such projects, so the issue is not a problem but allocating more funding to the stadium.”
Former governor Stanley Kiptis claimed recently that when he took over in 2017, he found several audit queries about the stalled stadium that neither his administration nor the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) could understand.
To try to complete the project, he said, he wrote to the national government seeking permission to continue construction while the audit queries dating back to 2015 were investigated.
“The stalled stadium is a serious matter and as a sportsman, I am also a worried man because it has several audit queries,” Mr Kiptis said at the time.
“I have gone to an extent of writing to the Sports ministry to also allocate funds to support us to complete the project like the other stadiums in other regions.”
Title deed setback
He also cited the lack of a title deed as a major setback for the project.
It is estimated that the work has consumed more than Sh50 million since it started, but there is nothing to show for the money except poor workmanship.
The project also attracted the eye of former Auditor-General Edward Ouko in the 2017/ 2018 financial year. Reports indicated that the contractor was awarded a Sh17.5 million contract to rehabilitate the stadium in December 2017, work that was supposed to be completed on February 28, 2018, but it is incomplete.
The auditor-general reported that a bill of quantities was provided for two goal posts for Sh186,000 but none was seen at the site.
“The storm water flows from town through the stadium and as a result, gullies have formed,” the report said.
“Some gabions have also been washed away and two sections of the perimeter wall on the lower side have been destroyed by the storm water. This is a clear indication that the drainage system was not properly done although certified and paid for.”
The report also revealed that ownership documents for the stadium land were not produced for audit and therefore ownership of the land could not be confirmed.
“No efforts appear to have been made to complete the project and there is a likelihood of the expenditure of Sh16.7 million already incurred going to waste since the project appears abandoned,” said the report.
In the 2014/2015 fiscal year, the auditor also raised queries on the tender for building a boundary wall at the stadium that was awarded to M/S Triumph for Sh10.7 million.
Records show that Sh23 million was used to build a pavilion, and washing and changing rooms and another Sh800,000 was spent on a new gate, but none of these is seen on site apart from a dilapidated latrine.
The contractor planted grass in the pitch and built a perimeter wall, which has developed cracks and is almost collapsing.