Audit exposes how counties spent millions on stalled stadiums

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The Auditor General has questioned the stalling of a multi-million shilling sporting facility in Uasin Gishu County and delayed upgrade of a second one.

Queries have also been raised over delays in completing sporting facilities in Bomet and Kakamega counties.

In Uasin Gishu, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu singled out the Sh1.1 billion Sixty Four (64) Stadium in Eldoret town and the Sh136.5 million Chagaiya High Altitude Training Centre in Kesses. According to the 2021-2022 audit report, the two projects (Chagaiya High Altitude Training Centre and 64 Stadium) were expected to be completed before July last year, but were not completed despite records showing contractors had been paid.

“The tender (for Chagaiya High Altitude Training Centre) was competitively procured and awarded to a company at a contract sum of Sh136,526,650,” the Auditor General reported.

The audit report added: “An amount of Sh42,983,760 and Sh20,934,085 were paid to the contractor during the financial year 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 respectively all totaling to Sh63,917,845, approximately 47 percent of the contract sum.”

The contract agreement was signed on 27 March 2020 with an expected completion time of 72 weeks commencing immediately upon signing of the agreement, according to the Auditor General. There was a request for an extension for another 30 weeks, which according to the Auditor General was granted by the county on August 30, 2021, and the revised completion date was March 30, last year.

However, the auditor reported, that physical verification of the project conducted in November 2022,  31 months after the signing of the contract agreement revealed that approximately 50 per cent of the work had been done.

“At the time of the verification, the contractor was not on site, an indication the project had stalled with only 50 per cent of the works completed,” the audit query said. 

The county had paid Sh405.3 million to a contractor to upgrade the iconic 64 Stadium. But Governor Jonathan Bii said Chagaiya and 64 Stadium were on course. “We are partnering with donors and other investors to ensure (Chagaiya High Altitude Centre) is complete to be a faculty that benefits our sportsmen and women besides boosting our economic and social growth,” he said.

The upgrading of 64 is Uasin Gishu’s legacy sports project and is located barely two kilometres from Kipchoge Keino, a national government facility, also under construction. 

The Auditor General also raised a red flag on delayed construction of Sh2257 million Bomet Stadium. It was established during the audit that the land where the stalled Bomet Stadium was situated belong to Bomet University College.

The report indicated: “The total payments to the contractor amounted to Sh14,013,380 or (5.4 per cent) of the agreed contract sum, which exceeds the 1.5 percent value of works completed. Further, records provided for audit indicate that the stadium land belongs to Bomet University College. Management did not provide explanations for these anomalies.”

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