Parliament slashes Sh1.2bn of Chan tourney cash after hosting debacle

Parliament in session. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Parliament in session. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Sports ministry has lost Sh1.2 billion that was earmarked for the refurbishment of stadia identified as venues for hosting the aborted continental football championship.

The National Assembly Wednesday voted to reduce the Sh4.2 billion that the Treasury allocated to finance the construction of the stadium ahead of the Africa Nations Championship (Chan).

“After deliberations, national Treasury agreed that they could accommodate…under the Ministry of Sports, Sh1.2 billion for the sports programme. The reduction is on the allocation meant for hosting the Africa Nations Championship,” says a report of the ad hoc Committee on Supplementary Budget.

The Confederation of African Football on September 23 stripped Kenya of the right to host the 2018 Chan because of delays in preparations.

Chan is the second top football tournament for national teams in Africa behind the African Cup of Nations.

A special committee, chaired by Kipkelion East MP Joseph Limo, had questioned the allocation to Chan given Kenya had been stripped of hosting rights by the continental football governing body.

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich had earlier warned MPs against interfering with the Sh4.2 billion earmarked for Chan, saying contracts for the construction of the stadiums had been signed and the money set aside in the supplementary budget would not be reallocated.

The works for the Machakos stadium has not been awarded following disagreements between the county government and the Sports ministry over the upgrade of the existing stadium.

Sports secretary Hassan Wario told MPs that the ministry was ready to surrender only Sh873.7 million out of the budget for hosting the continental football event. He said the ministry would part with Sh787.7 million that was earmarked for Machakos Stadium saying contracts worth Sh5.6 billion had been awarded and contractors were on site.

The Treasury had allocated Sh4.212 billion in the supplementary budget for the refurbishment of five stadia identifies as venues for hosting Chan.

They are Moi International Sports Centre-Kasarani (Sh300 million), Nyayo Stadium (Sh703.1 million), Kipchoge Keino (Sh630 million), Kinoru Stadium (Sh869.1 million) and Machakos Stadium (Sh873.7 million).