Shame of failed renovations of stadiums

Kamariny Stadium

A view of the stalled Kamariny Stadium in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County on April 18, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • What perturbs us is that the purported workers of the sports ministry are still paid their salaries and are very pleased about it. They are now moving even slower than the tortoises.
  • For these stadia to function properly and be worth the expenditure, we suggest that Sports Ministry and stadia staff's salaries only be paid from stadia revenue.
  • This way, we shall see some semblance of speed in this sector.

“Why do tortoises walk so slowly?” A little girl asked this question after seeing a huge tortoise at the Haller Park in Mombasa.

The cheeky park guide answered her immediately: “because they work for the government”.

The little girl seemed satisfied with the answer. How else was she to be responded to? Would it have required a full course on biology and other complex issues?

Don’t tortoises walk slowly because they are tortoises? Isn’t it their nature to trudge ever so slowly?

Her satisfaction with the government work is what tickled me. The government worker is assured of his pay and most of the time seeks to create bottlenecks and slow down the services required by citizens.

This forces the poor citizen to fork out money in bribes to get the required service faster.

This is very true in our country and very painful especially when there is urgent need for the service.

The country’s stadia are all in the state of ‘renovation’. They have been in this state for almost a decade and over!

These renovations, whose progress we know nothing about, seem to be a goldmine for some well-heeled individuals.

Even after the ‘renovations’, the largest stadia still do not meet the Caf/Fifa standards and are not allowed to host any regional or international matches.

This country’s sports are under the hard heels of well-fed contractors and slippery bureaucrats sans conscience. People whose children have never tasted any halal food; they are haram all the way..

The millions that have been put in these ‘renovation’ are mind boggling as the auditor general’s report revealed some days ago.

These monies could have been put into better use. This is a hard time for all our sports and the Sports Fund is being wasted with saddening impunity.

Only a small fraction of the Sports Fund goes to sports and only a small slice of that portion went to football and from the auditor General’s report, we know now where the biggest chunk goes.

It evidently went into stadia and then into the pockets of unscrupulous bureaucrats and contractors instead of our largely impoverished clubs and players.

Nyayo National Stadium, Kasarani, Kenyatta University Sports field, Kipchoge Keino Stadium, Kamariny Stadium, Wote Stadium, Karatu Ndaragu Stadium, Kinoru Stadium, Marsabit Stadium, Kirubia Stadium, Ruringu Stadium…it is a maddening list of perfect recklessness! Nothing is happening there worthy of mention; it is unacceptable.

Mombasa has no stadium and the thing that stands there looks like some centuries old Roman ruin; the City Stadium in Nairobi was forgotten and we could weep for many more.

What perturbs us is that the purported workers of the sports ministry are still paid their salaries and are very pleased about it. They are now moving even slower than the tortoises.

For these stadia to function properly and be worth the expenditure, we suggest that Sports Ministry and stadia staff's salaries only be paid from stadia revenue.

This way, we shall see some semblance of speed in this sector.

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