PLUNDER

Kenyans lost Sh830m in Jubilee’s unmet stadia promise

Auditor General says Kenyans may have got no value for money in the investments.

In Summary

•Audit further revealed that the suspected irregularities have been under investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

Deputy President William Ruto and Presidnet Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of Jubilee Party
Deputy President William Ruto and Presidnet Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of Jubilee Party
Image: FILE

Taxpayers may have lost over Sh830 million in stadiums that headlined President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto' campaign promises in 2017.

The Jubilee administration, largely DP Ruto, has been under scathing attack by Kenyans, more so on social media, over the unmet stadia promise.

Fresh details have emerged of how tender-savvy individuals may have taken advantage of the roadside declarations to reap from taxpayer’s sweat, putting Sports Kenya on the spot.

The query highlights the questionable expenditure of nearly Sh2 billion, which the auditor said could not be confirmed during a review of the agency’s books for the year ending June 2019.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has revealed how hundreds of millions of shillings were paid to contractors yet no substantive work was done in the Sh2.5 billion stadia projects.

She said no tender documents were provided by Sports Kenya for contracts on Kamariny, Ruringu, Kichoge Keino, Karatu Ndarugu, Wote, Marsabit, Kirubia and Kinoru.

The auditor said the county stadia projects were entered into without due process, citing Sports Kenya’s failure to avail the tender documents for audit review.

The audit further revealed that the suspected irregularities have been under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Gathungu said she was not provided with original tender documents, tender opening minutes, evaluation committee reports and procurement professional opinions.

“The documents were reported to have been taken by the EACC officers to assist in investigations of alleged irregularities in the award of the tenders,” the auditor said.

Gathungu added that the documents were equally not provided during the review of Sports Kenya books for the financial year ending June 30, 2018.

“It has not been possible to confirm whether the tenders were awarded competitively and whether the public will obtain value for money on the amount already paid,” the report reads.

Kenyans may have also lost Sh54 million paid to a consultant for legal advisory services for the construction of three stadiums under the Public-Private Partnership arrangement.

“The consultant had been paid above the initial contract sum – Sh47 million - but no PPP had so far been entered into and no stadium developed using PPP.”

Sports Kenya officials also paid Sh537 million for a feasibility study of three international stadiums that were to be built in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret at Sh110 million.

Gathungu said there was no evidence of the feasibility study and designs being put to use over five years after the consultant completed the same.

“Although the sites had been identified in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret, only one formal agreement had been signed to initiate the process of acquiring the land,” the auditor reports.

Taxpayers may have also lost Sh355 million paid to a contractor who has since abandoned works at the Kasarani Stadium and Kenyatta University Sports Field.

The contractor was paid 50 per cent of the contract sum – in excess of the 20 per cent set limit - without a bank guarantee in violation of procurement law.

Total payments exceeded the original contract by Sh11 million, yet the works which included laying a tartan track at Kenya University sports field were abandoned.

Similar circumstances befell the various county stadia promised by the Jubilee administration which have since been abandoned by the assigned contractors.

An audit inspection of Kamariny revealed that the pitch and track works had not been started and the contractor had abandoned the site.

The auditor said in the August 12 report that the board had paid the contractor Sh160 million of the Sh287 million contract award.

Works included construction of Kerio Valley viewpoint, VIP pavilion, changing rooms, reference rooms, and medical rooms, anti-doping rooms, stadia management offices, pitch works, and track lanes.

“Management did not provide a satisfactory explanation why the contractor had abandoned the site before completing the works or evidence of measures to ensure the works are completed.”

Ruringu Stadium in Nyeri was also found abandoned despite the contractor pocketing Sh71 million for no work done. The contract expired and was yet to be renewed during the audit.

Delayed works have also been flagged at Kinoru Stadium in Meru county where the contractor issued notice to stop works due to non-payment of Sh488 million for the Sh442 million tender.

Kirubia Stadium in Tharaka Nithi was 85 per cent complete during the audit review with the auditor raising concerns about why works had not been completed by the end of the contract extension.

At Wote Stadium in Makueni, an audit revealed that there was no noticeable pitch and track works. The underground excavation was partially done and no perimeter wall was constructed.

“The construction site was looking disorganized with building materials including sand, ballast, and stones scattered all over and the contractor had abandoned the site,” Gathungu said.

The contractor had been paid Sh104 million while the contract performance period had expired, with the auditor casting doubt on the value for money in the already incurred expenditure.

No progress was reported for the Karatu Ndarugu stadium in Gatundu – the President’s backyard - with the audit revealing that works on an athletic track, ablution block and parking were yet to start.

The contractor had been paid Sh69 million with the auditor raising concerns that delayed contractual works in the stadia were likely to lead to escalation of project costs.

Edited by Henry Makori