Baringo county still building a stadium started eight years ago

A section of Kabarnet stadium in Baringo county on August 26, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Kabarnet Stadium in Baringo County has been the subject of discussion for years.

The stadium’s construction started in 2014 under Governor Benjamin Cheboi, but eight years later it is incomplete.

With Cheboi’s reelection, there is renewed hope for the project which has gobbled up Sh40 million but there is little to show for it. Former Governor Stanley Kiptis faced a lot of criticism during his tenure over the state of the stadium.

In November 2021, former Kimoso location Chief Joseph Malatit embarked on a journey to State House over the stalled project.

He wanted to grab the attention of the concerned authorities so that some action could be taken. Malatit said if completed the stadium would be a place for nurturing talents.

Cheboi recently visited the stadium and pledged to have it completed.

“When I left, we were about to complete the stadium but you know another government took over and saw it was not fit to finish the project,” he said.

Cheboi said they will ensure the stadium is in use. He directed that the bush around it be cleared and a contractor procured to complete the works.

“This is a public property, it has been a stadium for years, saying it does not have a title will not affect its construction,” he added.

The governor promised to ensure all government property is safeguarded.

Though a least Sh40 million has been spent on the project between 2014 and 2020, little has been done. Audit reports have raised questions on the expenditure of the funds.

The county government in the 2014-2015 Financial Year proposed that a wall be erected around the stadium at a cost of Sh10,775,356, but it was left incomplete and part of it collapsed.

In 2015, the Auditor General raised queries after it emerged that the county government did not own the land on which the stadium stands.

“Although the works are ongoing the county government does not own the land where the construction is being done. In the circumstances, the expenditure may go to waste if a third party claims the same land,” read the report by the Auditor General then.

In the 2015-2016 Financial Year, the Auditor General raised queries over the incomplete works yet a lot of money had been sunk into the project. A contractor was awarded Sh14 million for earthworks and levelling. The contract was to last two months from October 4, 2015, to December 4, 2015.

The project as at June 2016 during the audit had not been completed.

A 2016-2017 Controller of Budget report showed that there was the construction of sanitation, changing rooms and a pavilion at a cost of Sh23.7 million.

The sanitation, changing rooms and pavilion are not there.

Physical verification

A contractor was awarded a tender to rehabilitate the stadium at a cost of Sh17.5 million. The contract was signed on November 22, 2017, and the commencement date was December 1, 2017.

The expected date of completion was February 28, 2018.

Expenditure records for the Ministry of Youth Gender Sports and Culture revealed that the contractor had been paid Sh16, 776,268 as of June 2018.

Physical verification of the project on October 15, 2018, revealed that the stadium is incomplete and the contractor is not on site and no material or workers were at the site as an indication work is in progress.