EACC probe halts nearly complete Dandora Stadium construction

Sunday May 24 2020

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A fish-eye shot of seats at the stands of Dandora Stadium on May 23,2020. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By Daily Nation

A heap of construction materials, including an artificial turf shipped in from Europe, is wasting away at the entrance of Dandora Stadium, signalling stalled work at the ultra-modern sports facility in Nairobi’s Eastlands area.

“This artificial turf has been exposed to the sun for a long and that’s against the recommendations. We fear it has been contaminated,” explains Godfrey Okoti, the stadium manager.

Located about 15 kilometers from Nairobi’s Central Business District, the 3,000-seater facility was touted as Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko’s main contribution to sports in the county. But that legacy is now under threat as work on the stadium remains incomplete two years after the intended launch date. There was no contractor or workers on-site when Nation Sport toured the facility yesterday.

The contractor left the site while work on the stadium was 80 percent done last September after being flagged by Ethics and Anti-Corruption (EACC) officials for allegedly using sub-standard materials in construction.

More than 20 senior City Hall officials, including Sonko’s personal assistant Peter Kamau Mugo, county executives Allan Igambi (Finance), Lucia Mulwa (Education), Charles Kerich (Lands), and Pauline Kahiga (formerly of Finance) have since been grilled over the stalled project.

The investigations touch on whether the contractor changed the Bill of Quantity and used steel to support the better part of the structure instead of using concrete, thereby reducing the original coast (Sh350 million) by half.

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EACC officials have finished evaluating the facility but a report is yet to be submitted.

TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS

A spot-check by Nation Sport revealed leaking roofs rotting away in the dressing and medical rooms. There is no perimeter fence and main gate at the stadium, while patches of paint have started peeling off from the walls even before the stadium is handed over to the county government, pointing to poor workmanship.

The recent transfer of functions from Governor Sonko to the newly-created Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) at Nairobi County appears to have about confusion as residents do not now know who between Governor Sonko and NMS boss Major General Mohammed Badi is responsible for the project.

“This stadium had offered hope to many talented youngsters and small scale traders but hope is now fading,” Okoti adds. “Teams no longer play matches because they cannot afford to travel far to lease training grounds. Players are idling here. I am appealing to anyone who can help or facilitate completion of work on the stadium to come forward to ensure the facility is completed and ready for use.”

More than 3000 seats had been installed in the terraces inside the stadium by the time construction was halted.

Floodlights had also been fitted.

When completed, Dandora Stadium will be the first facility in East Africa to display electronic advertising boards. The stadium project features a reception area, dressing rooms for home and away teams each of which consists of eight lockers, sinks, shower rooms, urinals, and toilets.

There are also rooms to be used by referees, a stadium manager’s office, offices, four toilet rooms, and rooms available for leasing. The stands have been divided into terraces, VIP, and VVIP sections, with CCTV cameras installed in each section.

The stadium is home to several teams from Nairobi, among them Dandora Youth and Dandora All-Stars.

Kenyan Premier League clubs Mathare United and Kariobangi Sharks have also expressed interest in using the venue when it is completed.

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