PD Reporter @PeopleDailyKe
A footbridge meant to be used by athletes during last year’s IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi is just being completed now, slightly over a year behind schedule.
The bridge was meant to ensure athletes’ security from marauding criminals that loiter along the railway line separating the Kenyatta University and the Nyayo Hostels, where athletes were being hosted. The bridge overflies KM slum, where thuggery is rife.
The Nairobi event, described by IAAF President Sebastian Coe as the most successful in the history of the championship, was the last edition of the Under-18 competition.
Henceforth, only the Under-20 and the senior championships will be staged by the IAAF, and the Continental Trophy, formerly known as the IAAF World Cup, which is a competition among the continents.
As part of legacy programme that the world athletics governing body IAAF bequeaths to hosts of global competitions, Kenyatta University, hosted the more than 2,000 competitors, would be installed with a new tartan track.
The tartan tracks are abandoned at the institution, left to the elements of weather, despite the foundation for track having been laid.
The track was also meant for use during the five-day global competition. The other tartan track at the Kasarani Complex main stadium and the nearby warm-up track were installed and used during the event.
Auditor General Edward Ouko, in his report, indicates that up to Sh1.7 billion out of the Sh3.5 billion set aside to host the event could not be accounted for.
It is said the Local Organising Committee (LOC) declined Kenyatta University’s offer to provide transport for athletes between Kasarani stadium and the hostels for unknown reasons.
“Kenyatta University offered 24 buses to ferry athletes. All LOC needed to do was fuel the buses and pay drivers Sh5,000 daily allowances. We even signed documents, only to learn that they (organisers) preferred the obviously more expensive private transport,” said a senior university staff who requested not to be named.
Pewin Cabs was paid Sh66,005,000, and Spero Africa, which offered buses, received Sh2,284,870. The Auditor General reported that Pewin Cabs was paid Sh23,825,000 over and above the market rate.
“It was noted that this company was also given another contract for the dry cleaning and laundry services worth Sh30,820,762 under Sports Kenya by the LOC.
“In the absence of a competitive procurement process, it has not been possible to confirm the propriety of the direct procurements totalling Sh349,633,321 as at June 30, 2017,” the Auditor General’s report reads in part.
The University was preferred by the IAAF honchos because of its proximity to the stadium, and because of security considerations. Unlike previous championships where the IAAF accommodated athletes in different hotels near the competition venue, KU provided a one-stop shop for training and accommodation, something that excited the various visiting IAAF delegations.
Nyayo Hostels rooms were remodelled and renovated to accommodate two athletes each. The renovation extended to washrooms and other amenities.
Another factor that worked to the advantage of Kenyatta University was its sports facilities that offered efficient training ground for athletes.
The Sh800 million cost of hostel renovation has been a subject of controversy.
But a university official defended the cost, saying the hostels were previously run down. The LOC was to give 4,000 branded jerseys to KU for use by students to help in aiding visibility of the Championships. According to the official who was privy to the arrangement, not a single jersey was given and no explanation was given for the whereabouts of the boxes of jerseys that were stored at the Sports Kenya stores.