Monday, October 26, 2020

Refurbished National Stadium remains pipe dream

The refurbishment of the National Stadium has long stalled after the dispute between the government and the contractors, Tectura International, which has further resulted in the project’s omission from the supplementary budget.

The supplementary budget was unveiled on September 15 by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. It was for areas like sports and recreation, particularly refurbishment and completion works at stadiums.

According to the Presidential Directive CAB.1/99 the supplementary budget is allocated when “there are requests to cover unforeseen requirements and emergencies only”. On why the National Stadium was left out of the supplementary budget for 2012/13, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning referred this newspaper to the Ministry of Infrastructure Science and Technology (MIST), which is responsible for the tendering and delegation of construction works.

MIST spokesperson, Christopher Nyanga, said work at the stadium had stalled as government looked to replace the previous contractors. He said he was not in a position to say why the stadium was not included in the supplementary budget.

“We are still in the process of rectifying the pitch; we are to also identify a company that will replace the former contractor. Right now we are on the logistics of finding a suitable replacement,” said Nyanga.

He said they would now look for a specialist design-and-build company, unlike on the last project where they used different companies for the design and construction aspects. Nyanga said this would work better because only one company, encompassing engineering and consulting, would then face the blame for anything that goes wrong. He said this will reduce the finger pointing that often happens between the builder and the consultant. Further, Nyanga attributed delay of completion on works on the stadium to the fact that Tectura International had done a shoddy job on the pitch drainage system. A dispute arose between Tectura and MIST, with the parties threatening litigation.

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