President Uhuru Kenyatta. [File, The Standard]

When President Uhuru Kenyatta toured Nyeri on June 22, 2017, among the goodies he was bringing locals was the construction of the historic Ruring’u Stadium after settlement of an ownership row between the county government and the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK).

Five years down the line, and the stadium is only 65 per cent complete. It is also no longer listed on the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) website perhaps an indictment of how the progress is officially perceived. 

The Government has finally made a decision through the Sports Kenya Board to replace the contractor for failing to show his ability to complete the work on time as agreed.

The stadium was one of the major projects promised to the residents of Nyeri County by the Jubilee government in addition to Karatina and Chaka markets. Karatina was opened by the head of state in 2018 and the Chaka market hub Phase 1 is complete and Phase 2 at 60 per cent completion.

“This is a very important facility; it will enable the residents of Nyeri to get a place to do their sporting events and hold other public events, and I will be back in six months’ time, after its completion,” the president said in June 2017 during the launch.

A section of Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri, on 5 April, 2021, which has been under the construction since 2017. [Kibata Kihu/Stadium]

What followed after was a series of trips to the stadium by the Sports Kenya Board members, accompanied by some government teams like the PDU as well as the Nyeri County Commissioner.

Roy Goga the project supervisor at Funan Construction Company however blamed the government for the delay in completion of the stadium.

“Every time we make requests for facilitation and payment, there is a delay. We presented a completion certificate for Sh1 million, but no payment has been made yet,” he said.

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The Government officials however refuted the claims on grounds that the government cannot make a payment that is less than Sh5 million claiming that the contractor had not done much work to accrue enough payment.

 Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri. [Kibata Kihu/Stadium]

In September last year, the team from the Sports Ministry was back, and the contractor was warned.

“We are convinced that the contractor has no capacity to deliver the stadium on the stipulated time. Everyone can see that. We are therefore considering other possible options including getting another contractor,” Sports Kenya director Mwangi Muthee said after a visit last year.

On his return trip to the facility on Tuesday, May 4, Muthee said they had terminated the contract. 

The stadium is only 65 per cent complete.  [Kibata Kihu/Stadium]

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