What you need to know:
- Sports Kenya Director General Pius Metto at one point warned those lagging behind that they risked having their contracts terminated.
- James Muya, who headed the Toddy Construction team, said they had now handed over the stadium to Sports Kenya after having completed their scope of work.
The stage appears finally set for the unveiling of the refurbished Sh900 million Kinoru Stadium in Meru County following years of renovations.
Sports Kenya Chairman Charles Waithaka said the facility was complete and was only undergoing final touches and could be handed over to Meru County in the next two weeks.
He said they were working under strict deadlines and had camped in the region for the last one week to ensure everything was in order before President Uhuru Kenyatta presides over the grand opening.
President Kenyatta is also expected to officially hand over the Sh247 million Kirubia Stadium in Tharaka Nithi County before the end of June.
Speaking after a weekend inspection tour, Waithaka said Sports Kenya was working on six more stadiums in the country and were keen on ensuring they were completed in the next 45 days.
They include the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri, Karatu Stadium in Gatundu South and the Marsabit Stadium.
Currently, workers are painting the sitting area at Kinoru with colours of the national flag and working on the parking lot, besides landscaping on the exterior.
The facility has a six-lane tartan track, VIP lounge and other facilities.
Kinoru Stadium, which will be the largest in the upper eastern region, was among the venues that had been selected to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) matches and has been closed since 2015.
Kenya, however, lost the rights to host the premier tournament due to lack of enough stadiums.
Since then, the construction work has been sluggish, with the Sports ministry having to postpone an intended official handover by President Kenyatta.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi at one point wrote to Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, seeking to have the completion speeded up saying it was affecting promotion of sports.
CS Amina, Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo and other officials made several visits in 2020 and speed was increased with some working round the clock.
Sports Kenya Director General Pius Metto at one point warned those lagging behind that they risked having their contracts terminated.
James Muya, who headed the Toddy Construction team, said they had now handed over the stadium to Sports Kenya after having completed their scope of work.
Already, Sports Kenya has cleared the front of the stadium where dilapidated houses for the local Kinoru police camp were situated.
North Imenti Member of Parliament Rahim Dawood welcomed the completion but called on the government to ensure local youth had access to the venue to nurture their talent.
He also appealed for the construction of another police post and offices for the Miiriga Mieru assistant county commissioner’s offices to enhance security in the area.
Kiraitu said the stadium would be named Kinoru International Stadium and expressed optimism that it would help nurture talent in the area and bring national and international sports to Meru County.
“We used to call it Kinoru stadium, but now you will agree with me that this is now Kinoru international stadium. The teams that we read in the newspapers like Gor Mahia and Tusker will play here. This is a great gift that we have received from the President and we are thankful,” said the governor.