What’s there to show for Sh23.5b? Administrators question money spent by Amina
Anthony Mwangi and Webster Nyandika
A section of sports administrators yesterday asked Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to give a breakdown of the Sh 23.5 billion she claimed her ministry had spent in Sports within three years.
On Wednesday, Amina told the National Assembly’s Sports, Culture and Tourism Committee that the government has been spending proceeds from the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund Board (SASDFB) to fund several federations and the construction of stadiums in the country.
She said that a number of on gong projects were nearing completion and that more will be started next year.
So far, from the list of nine stadia that had been identified for uplifting, only Nyayo Stadium is opened for operation, but cannot host night matches yet because lights are yet to be fitted.
The rest: Kipchoge Keino, Kamariny, Wote, Ruringu, Karatu, Kinoru, Marsabit and Chuka stadiums are at different levels of completion.
In a Board Paper prepared by Sports Kenya on November 1, 2019 proposing for funding presented to sports facilities and infrastructure committee, Sh 1.33 billion was quoted as the amount required to complete six of the pending stadia including Kipchoge Keino, Ruringu, Wote, Chuka stadium, Marsabit and Karatu which had jointly cost Sh 2 billion in their construction by then.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Upper Rift chairman Francis Mayakula said members of the sports fraternity would love to know how the Sh23.5 billion has been spent and urged the CS to give a breakdown as she continues to audit federations.
“Sh 23.5 billion is not small money, for the Sports Ministry to have spent that amount of money in three years we should be feeling the impact in our sports by now, but we are not,” said Mayakula.
He added: “We have no stadia, Kipchoge Keino and Kamarin in my region are all not functioning after being closed for more than five years now.
Upper Rift has some of the best talent in the country both in football and athletics but where are the stadia?”
Mayakula also said Trans Nzoia lacked a stadium after the Kenyatta Stadium was run down and most of it’s land grabbed.
Amina said: “Funding of the projects has been sourced through the Fund which was established to consolidate funds for construction and improvement of stadiums, academies and other sports centers to nurture and develop talents.”
The Fund, she said has already collected Sh 30.3 billion since its inception in the 2019.
It raises funds through sports lotteries, investment and any other means and disburse the funds for the development of sports and recreation.
FKF Kiambu County chairman John Kamau said its would be ideal for the Cabinet Secretary to explain how the money has been used so far and yet most of the facilities were still complete and their budget for their completion was not even reaching Sh4 million.
“In Central there is no stadium that can even host a serious match. Work has been going on Karatu but it’s clearly far from completion,” Kamau told People Sport.
National Sports Fund was established through the enactment of the Sports Act 2013. The Fund is domiciled within the ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts.
The main goal for establishing the Fund is to raise funds to facilitate growth and development of the sports industry in the country. In addition, the funds will be used to train the necessary sports personnel and support the cash award scheme for the purpose of enhancing competitiveness among the country’s sports men and women.
The stadiums already under construction include the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu County, at a cost of Sh 415 million and the Wanguru stadium in Kirinyaga County which was done at a cost of Sh310 million.
The projects have since been completed and hosted national events, with Wang’uru being the latest having hosted the Mashujaa Day.
The Fund has also supported the Posta Jamhuri Sports Ground in Nairobi County where Sh 609 million has been spent.
The 20,000 capacity Karatu Stadium in Kiambu County which is ongoing was allocated Sh 596 million. According to Amina it is almost complete at 85 per cent and is projected to be through by December this year.
“What we wanted to prove with the construction of this stadium within a record time is to show that we don’t need years to construct the stadiums as has been the norm and that with the technologies and commitment it can be done within six and seven,” the CS said.