James Magayi @magayijim
Renovations of Kasarani and Nyayo stadia are likely to go beyond the set March deadlines after contractors’ downed tools for non-payment. Work has literally stalled at both facilities, a predicament that dashes hopes of Kenya’s capital hosting any big sporting event.
Sports Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia inspected the construction work at Nyayo Stadium early last month and issued a timeline which now looks increasingly harder to keep as the workforce has reduced from three contractors on site last year before Confederation of African Football (CAF) issued its damning verdict on Kenya’s preparedness to a number of unskilled workers on site.
The problem started when CAF relocated the second tier international football showpiece CHAN from Nairobi to Morocco. The government then diverted monies allocated for stadia renovations to other pressing issues leaving Nyayo and Kasarani contractors without money to work with.
A frustrated Sports Kenya official who requested anonymity said their hands are tied and cannot intervene further over the matter. “The government is aware of the situation on the ground but no one is bothered.
The contractors and their people fled the site and we only have a few ministry of works people coming here. Not much is happening though but if the vigour with which this task was started would have continued then the stadium would be ready now,” he said Nairobi-based Kenyan Premier League (KPL) teams have moved their matches in Machakos, overburdening the Kenyatta stadium but there is no end in sight for their plight.
The teams incur huge costs travelling out of town to host their home matches, as Nyayo and Kasarani remain closed.