Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Tuesday confronted a contractor over the stalled Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, which was to be completed by December last year.
The Sports CS who was shocked at the slow pace of the construction by Shiv Construction Company demanded that the firm hands over the project to a different contractor.
An angry CS Amina who was accompanied by a team from the President’s Delivery Unit questioned why the Sh304 million stadium was delayed despite the ministry pumping Sh100 million.
The contractor was hard-pressed to explain why he was not completing the project despite numerous visits by government officials since May last year.
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“Hand over the project to another capable contractor if you are not ready to complete it. I can’t be here every time and getting the same answers on why the stadium is not being completed,” Ms Amina told the contractor.
Slow release of funds
But an unmoved director of the company who was at the site when the CS inspected the project, told Amina to her face that the government was slow in releasing money for completing the stadium.
The contractor replied: “We are committed to completing this project but we also want the release of funds hastened.”
It is then that CS Amina disputed the claim, saying the contractor had received money and that the project has so far consumed over Sh100 million.
“You have swallowed Sh100m of government money and the work you have done does not measure up with the funds. You are embarrassing the government,” she said.
Ms Amina, at some point, told the seemingly unshaken contractor to face her in the eye and assure the country that he will complete the project before June.
“You are speaking to me when facing the other side. How can I know whether you are lying or saying the truth,” Ms Amina said.
The contractor briefly replied: “I am committed to completing the project.”
The CS said she was immediately deploying a team of officers from the ministry and Sports Kenya who will camp at the site until the stadium which has been under construction since 2017 is completed.
By yesterday, the contractor was starting to construct the second floor of the pavilion and VIP terraces.
But Ms Amina was not convinced by the reasons given by the contractor and questioned why she had few masons on the site.
“You have only 26 construction workers on site. Why can’t you have 100 workers?” Ms Amina asked.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago told the contractor that he had a bad attitude towards the project and should hand it over to another construction company.
Mandago said the county will be involved in monitoring the project and asked the contractor to employ several unemployed masons in the county to hasten completion.
“The whole country is looking at this project for athletics performance and training. Some of us carry public interest and you (the contractor) has embarrassed all of us,” the Governor said.
He continued: “You were born in Uasin Gishu and you understand the challenges that our athletes face. You have been paid money by the government, why can’t you work 24 hours a day to complete this project?”
CS Amina also toured the stalled Kamariny Stadium in West Pokot where a contractor had his contract cancelled in October last year.