Ruto insists Gov’t will finish building stadiums as per Jubilee manifesto


Ruto insists Gov't will finish building stadiums as per Jubilee manifesto
DP William Ruto at the Kenya Inter-Counties Sports and Cultural Association (Kicosca) Games , Kericho Green Stadium, Ainamoi, Kericho County.

In Summary

  • In 2017, DP Ruto said the government would build a total of nine stadia instead of the original five they had announced four years before.
  • Fast forward to 2019 and the state of sports facilities in the country remains unchanged.
  • NBA champions Toronto Raptors’ President Masai Ujiri was in Kenya this week and described one of the facilities as 'deplorable'.

Deputy President William Ruto has said the government will complete the construction of six stadia, within one year, which the Jubilee administration had pledged.

Also Read: Pain, anger for athletes as construction of Kamariny Stadium drags on

According to him, the country has reliable resources which is why the law was passed to create a sports fund.

“Going into the future, there is a predictable mechanism of ensuring that sportsmen and women are taken care of and sports programs upheld, so as to harness the great sporting talent in Kenya,” he said.

The DP was speaking at Kericho Green Stadium during the KICOSCA games on Friday.

'Goalkeeper' William Ruto
‘Goalkeeper’ William Ruto

 

In 2013, Jubilee announced that they would build five stadia but four years later were at pains to explain why they had not done so.

At the launch of the party’s manifesto on June 27, 2017, DP Ruto sought to assure supporters that they had not reneged on the pledge.

He instead blamed it on issues of title deeds and environmental setbacks.

“In Mombasa we had an issue with the ownership of the land but everything is in place. As as soon as we sort out the issue, it’s a done deal. In Kisumu the county government has not relocated the dumpsite next to the site where the stadium will be built but as soon as it is relocated the process will be complete,” he said at the time.

He further added that the government would now build a total of nine stadia instead of the original five within one year.

Fast forward to 2019 and the state of sports facilities in the country remains unchanged.

NBA champions Toronto Raptors’ President Masai Ujiri was in Kenya this week and during an interview with a local daily described one of the facilities as ‘deplorable’.

“Lack of infrastructure is what is making the talents that we have in this continent disappear. We lack the ecosystems to keep them here and end up losing them,” he told the Daily Nation on August 15, 2019.

On Friday however, DP Ruto maintained the government has prioritised the welfare of its sportsmen and women.

He said that the government has settled debt owed to them since 2010.

The DP also requested county governments to establish sports academies to develop talents of young people.

He further indicated that the government will pay special attention to women in sports to encourage increased participation in different fields.

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Story By Bernard Rotich
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