Kenya: Kinoru Stadium - Government Issues New Ultimatum

3 December 2020

The Government has insisted that it must open the Sh900 million Kinoru Stadium in Meru County before the end of year, expressing disappointment over the slow pace of work, six years after renovation began.

Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo said President Uhuru Kenyatta was keen to open the facility and hand it over to the Meru County Government as early as December 12, so that it could be utilised.

Speaking after touring the stadium Wednesday afternoon, the PS ordered Sports Kenya Director General Pius Meto to coordinate with the local administrators to ensure the stadium is completed.

He noted that the drainage was below standard while the contractor in charge of water connection had not completed the work.

"The water system is not working and thus we cannot check if these toilets are functional. We cannot even use the sprinkler system. It will not be good when we commission and people start using these water closets and the external drainage is not working," Sports Kenya director in charge of infrastructure Alfred Baariu said.

Not painted

The officials, who also included Imenti North deputy county commissioner Charles Monari and Meru Sports executive Koome Miriti, also learnt that some parts of the stadium had not been painted.

Okudo proposed that the contractors work round the clock, promising security.

The visit comes days after Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, wrote to Sports CS Amina Mohamed, seeking to have the renovations at Kinoru Stadium completed.

He said the stadium was supposed to be handed over to the devolved unit by July 30, but had not happened, saying it was affecting promotion of sports.

The Meru governor was apprehensive that new grass had not been planted in the playing field, which had also deteriorated with some anthills coming up.

"The Governor himself has taken up the matter with the CS. We told them to first plant the required grass so that the turf can have a good playing surface," CEC Miriti had said in a past event.

Meto had earlier said the contractors undertaking the most expensive stadium renovation project in the country had committed in writing to be through by July 30.

Meru FKF chairman Ken Rungu said they were monitoring the progress of the 25,000-seat stadium to ensure it attained international standards.

The stadium was among the venues that had been selected to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) matches before Kenya was stripped off the rights to host the tournament.

Rungu insists that the stadium must have floodlights and a turf that can enable it to host an international matches.

"There are guidelines by Caf saying they will be the ones to determine when the matches will be played because of advertisement rights," said RUngu.

"The government had said they would erect seats around the stadium but they are not there. The grass was sourced from the forest in Kibirichia and was not the recommended type. We are appealing to the contractor to uproot it and replace it with the one that is required," he said.

The installation of the artificial turf and tartan track was to be handled by Gregori International Company but the contractor has not started work following a dispute.

The stadium has a modern VIP area, changing rooms, anti-doping testing rooms, CCTV and internal lighting.

FKF Premier League giants Tusker FC, who were hosting their home matches at the facility before it was closed for renovation, KDF (Nanyuki), Athletics Kenya, Kenya Rugby Union and others have made inquiries over the availability of the stadium.

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