Ruto explains his 2017 stadiums pronouncement and makes new pledge

Deputy President William Ruto was on Thursday at pains to explain his now infamous 2017 pledge that the government would complete the construction of nine stadiums in six months.

Speaking during an interview with NTV, the DP said the promise was not personal but a government one and that the stadiums could not be built because the money set aside for them was directed to other government projects.

Ruto denied that he lied to Kenyans saying they have delivered on other projects like electricity, housing, roads and rail.

“You make it look like I was to get money from my pocket to build the stadiums, this was a Jubilee administration pledge,” he said.

Just before the run-up to the 2013 and 2017 polls, the DP outlined Jubilee government’s commitment to deliver on its promises to Kenyans.

Key among the pledges was building of new state-of-the art stadiums across the country that would see significant improvement in the sports sector.

DIFFERENT COUNTIES

Part of their manifesto in 2013 was to build five stadiums in different counties including Nairobi, Kisumu and Eldoret before 2017.

In 2017, he said, “These stadiums and you can confirm with the Ministry of Sports will be completed either by the end of this year or the first quarter of next year. All the 11 stadiums including the refurbishment of Nyayo.”

The government has, however, to-date not constructed a single stadium.

“Our commitment to deliver on the stadiums is solid. We had a time frame. Of course, unfortunately, as fate would have it, we went into a second election (in 2017) and spent about Sh13 billion part of which was supposed to be deployed to do some of those things,” he explained.

On Thursday during the interview, he accused the media of only asking him about the stadiums which are yet to be completed while ignoring other areas where the government had achieved like roads and rail.

“Why are people just asking about the stadiums as if it is the only thing we promised? Is it because others have been fulfilled? It is unfair,” he said.

Documents by Sports Kenya show that the ambitious pledge by the two in both 2013 and 2017 General Elections, has been frustrated by National Treasury major budget cuts in the last four financial years.

AGENCY

Several contractors engaged by the agency have since abandoned the sites over pending bills, in what could see millions of taxpayers’ money already paid, go into waste.

Ruto, however, vowed to make sure that the promised stadiums are built before 2022 to end the debate once and for all.

The DP said there is ongoing work on the said stadiums with Wote Stadium in Makueni County almost complete.

“I will make sure that we deliver on these stadium promises so that you get another thing to ask in 2022,” he said.

Kenyans, however, were not convinced with what Ruto had said about Wote stadium and they took to Twitter to discredit him.

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