TAXPAYERS LOOKING AT LOSS OF KSHS.830MILLION IN STADIA PROJECTS

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The Sports Kenya agency has been put on the spotlight by the Auditor General over possible loss of Kshs.830million meant for construction of stadiums around the country. The Auditor General further revealed that the issue is being investigated by the anti-graft agency, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

An audit of the Sports’ agency’s books for the year ending June 2019 revealed questionable expenditure of Kshs.2.5 billion for the government stadia project in Kamariny, Ruringu, Kipchoge Keino, Karatu Ndarugu, Wote, Marsabit, Kirubia and Kinoru. Hundreds of millions of shillings is said to have already been paid to contractors yet no substantive work was done, with most sites abandoned.

The extent of unfinished works highlighted in the Auditors report include incomplete works, even with extension of construction periods, stadiums abandoned midway by contactors who have already been paid either in full or partly. Other queries were raised on payments to consultants without evidence that their advisories were implemented.

The audit revealed that the suspected irregularities are under investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), which is said to have carted away crucial documents as evidence.

The auditor queried lack of due process or if they were done competitively, as Sports Kenya failed to avail the relevant tender documents, minutes, evaluation reports for review of its books for financial years ending June 30, 2018 and 2019.

Flagged also was Kshs.54 million paid to a consultant for legal advisory services for the construction of three stadiums under Public-Private Partnership (PPP), for which the consultant was paid above the initial contract sum of Kshs.47 million, yet no PPP had so far been entered into and no stadium developed using PPP.

Sports Kenya also paid Kshs.537 million for a feasibility study of three international stadiums that were to be built in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret at Kshs.110 million, yet there is no evidence of the feasibility study and designs being put to use over five years later.

The Auditor further revealed that taxpayers may have also lost Kshs.355 million paid to a contractor who has since abandoned works at Kasarani Stadium and Kenyatta University Sports field. The agency also violated procurement law after it paid a contractor 50 per cent of the contract sum way above the permitted 20 per cent set limit, and without the mandatory bank guarantee.

Further, the total payments exceeded the original contract by Kshs.11 million, for works the sports field. The audit revealed that works including laying a tartan track were abandoned, a fate which befell other sports projects, a flagship of the Jubilee administration.

Other projects which are affected include; Kamariny -contractor paid Kshs.160 million of the Kshs.287 million yet site abandoned with no evidence to ensure works completion; Ruringu Stadium, Nyeri-contractor paid Kshs.71; Kinoru Stadium, Meru- contractor issued notice to stop works due to non-payment of Kshs.488 million for the Kshs. 442 million tender; Kirubia Stadium, Tharaka Nithi -at 85 per cent complete despite contract extension; Wote Stadium, Makueni- an abandoned site yet contractor was paid Kshs.104 million with contract period expired; Karatu Ndarugu stadium, Gatundu, contractor paid Kshs.69 million for incomplete and possible escalation of costs.

Corruption allegations have dogged sports in Kenya, however, the anti-graft multi agencies; EACC, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Director of Public Prosecution have been alert as evidenced by the conviction of former Sports PS and National Olympics Committee of Kenya official by the anti-corruption court in Nairobi.

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