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Retired administrator walking to State House over stalled stadium 

COUNTIES
By Julius Chepkwony | August 28th 2021

Former Kimoso location chief Joseph Malatit Chebii at Radat area along the Kabarnet - Nakuru highway during his long walk to State House, Nairobi. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Dressed in a white dust coat emblazoned with the words ‘Kabarnet Stadium Tuokoe’, 61-year-old Joseph Maltit Chebii is a man on a mission.

He stops by the road at Radad on the Nakuru-Marigat highway, where he opens a backpack, removes a bottle of water to quench his thirst.

Malatit, a former Kimoso location chief, said he started his journey to State House, Nairobi, a distance of over 330 kilometres, in a bid to compel the government to have construction of Kabarnet Stadium completed.

He left his Eron home on Tuesday, and though he has not secured an appointment with President Uhuru Kenyatta, he believes he will be allowed to have an audience with him.

And if not received, he says he will go back home. “I have been walking to compel the government to complete the construction of the Kabarnet Stadium, which stalled three years ago,” Malatit said.

Malatit, who until his retirement last year had served for 27 years as chief, had walked for 80 kilometres.

On Tuesday, he covered 40 kilometres and on Wednesday he did 20 kilometres.

At the time of the interview on Thursday, he had walked close to 20 kilometres.

According to the former chief, if the construction of the stadium is completed, it will help nurture talent.

A section of Kabarnet Stadium that has stalled. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

He noted that Baringo is home to many athletes some of whom represented Kenya at Tokyo Olympics.

“I feel in my journey someone will see the need to have the stadium completed,” he said, adding the cold nights will not deter him from completing his mission.

The stadium, whose construction started in 2014, has been turned into a drinking den and an open defecation site.

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

The county government in the financial year 2014/2015 proposed that a boundary wall be built at the stadium at a cost of Sh10,775,356 but it was left incomplete and part of it collapsed.

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.

[Additional reporting by Bradley Sikolia]

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