Questions raised as Manga Stadium stalls
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
Apart from a perimeter wall surrounding it, there is really nothing much to show for the Sh140 million issued for the construction of Manga Stadium six years ago after works were commissioned.
The facility standing on eight hectares of land was meant to herald a new beginning for a region that has given so much to the country in terms of sports.
The stadium was expected to have a standard running track, a pavilion, fans stands, a standard football pitch, treatment area and standard changing rooms.
Construction was to be done in four phases with the initial one entailing building a fence, the drainage system, levelling of the playing surface and drilling of boreholes. This was supposed to have taken a year to complete.
The second phase that was approximated to take one and half years would entail construction of the main pavilion of about 4,000 seating capacity, installation of the irrigation system on the playing surface and putting up a running track.
The third phase involved putting up six spectator stands and areas for indoor games which would take a year.
Finally, building a tartan track and installing security lights would have been done in the fourth and final phase.
But at present, only a fence, a borehole and the foundation for the main pavilion have been done.
Naftali Temu, who won Kenya’s first gold in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Charles Asati who won Olympic gold relay at the 1972 Munich Games together with teammate the late Robert Ouko are some of the athletes who hail from Manga in Nyamira County.
A spot check by People Sport in October revealed the sad state the stadium is in with a section now being used as a grazing zone for goats and sheep.
It is now emerging that delay in payment to the contractor is the main reason the work is moving at a snail’s pace.
Former county executive member for sports Johnstone Obike had insisted work was to be completed soon when the project was initiated.
However, the constructor says it has been more talk and less action from the county government leading to the delays.
The contractor says while some funds were released by the county government a few months ago, it is not enough to get the job done.
“If you’re not able to pay workers or buy construction materials, then there is nothing really you’re doing,” said the constructor.
Our repeated attempts to get Obike’s successor, Benard Osumo, to comment on the status of the stadium have been futile.