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Wambora denies closing stadium ahead of DP Ruto's Saturday tour

By Joseph Muchiri | February 20th 2020
The flooded Embu stadium as at October 24, 2019. Embu County says it is closed for renovation. [Joseph Muchiri, Standard]

Embu Governor Martin Wambora has denied claims that he has ordered the closure of Embu Stadium to deny Deputy President William Ruto using it on Sunday.

Wambora said the stadium was closed to allow for renovation as it was in bad shape after flooding.

Ruto is set to tour Embu County on Sunday, where he will attend service at Gatunduri Full Gospel Church and later join Muslims at the stadium for a funds drive.

Wambora said there has been a public outcry over the stadium’s poor state during rainy seasons, hampering sporting activities.

Speaking on phone, Wambora said now that the rains have subsided, it is the best time to renovate the stadium to improve its drainage, landscaping and grass trimming.

The governor advised the event organisers to look for an alternative venue.

“I’m very surprised that some individuals are claiming that I have closed the stadium to block some individuals from using it. This is not the case. On February 4, the sports chief officer (Samuel Wachira) brought it to my attention that the stadium will be closed for renovation from February 10,” said Wambora.

“People have been posting that the stadium drainage is horrible, that it is like a lake. Because there is money to renovate it that is why it has been closed,” he added.

According to Wachira, the county is currently refurbishing 20 stadiums in all the 20 wards.

Following the emergence of what is being viewed as bad blood between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy because of their differences over the Uhuru's detente with Raila through what is now known as the Handshake, and the resultant Building Bridges Initiative, Ruto's tours are in certain circumstances being seen as defiance of his boss.

This has created situations where some civil servants and politicians are keeping away from Ruto's tours or not according him the treatment normally given to the Number Two Man in the government.

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