As Kajiado leaders blame leadership incompetency for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s action to shift Madaraka fete to Narok, it is official county has no stadium.
A State House tweet on Monday negatively changed Kajiado’s financial fortunes in hosting this year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations when it said this year’s Madaraka will now be held in Narok County.
Governor Joseph Lenku on Tuesday explained he was part of the team that advised President Kenyatta to move the event to Narok because the plan to have it in Kajiado is untenable because of lack of a serviceable stadium.
Lenku also said it is not the role of the counties to organize and fund national days’ celebrations, adding it is the functional role of the Interior Department.
He said the space identified in Kajiado as the only possible venue for national celebration had not been developed before and is only an old football pitch with grown bushes.
It was not explained how the idea of hosting this year’s Madaraka Day Fete was mooted and sealed between the presidency and Kajiado leadership.
But Kajiado Central MP, Elijah Memusi, said; “The decision is disappointing. We had all the time from last year to prepare for this but Governor Lenku failed the people of Kajiado. It shows and confirms, not just to the people of Kajiado County but the entire country that Lenku is incompetent.”
Kajiado South MP, Katoo ole Metito, soberly said; “I am sure the President meant well by proposing Kajiado county to host this year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations.”
Metito said President Kenyatta, after realizing that the venue (stadium) would not be ready in good time he directed that Sh100 million be allocated for the completion of Kajiado stadium in Ildamat Ward.
“The President, at the same time, retained the celebrations’ venue within the same economic block in Narok County,” said Metito.
County assembly Speaker, Johnson Osoi, termed the State House decision “unfortunate and heartbreaking”, adding that he hoped the President will give the people of Kajiado an opportunity to host a national holiday in the near future within his term.
A member of the national steering committee that had been mandated to undertake the construction work at Kajiado County stadium commended the decision, saying it would have been untenable.
The official, who sought anonymity, said the decision to take the event to Narok as opposed to Kajiado was reached after intense consultation between governor Lenku, the national team, and State House, and that it became clear the situation on the ground “would not have allowed”.
He said preparing venues for national events cost money but could not reveal the exact amount that had been set for the Kajiado stadium.
“The cost varies depending on the infrastructure around the stated venues. For the case of Kajiado, it was just unprepared field which could have required more money than preparing another venue,” said he.
On Monday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i led the national celebrations committee to State House meeting with President Kenyatta and to brief him over the preparedness of the committee to hold this year’s national Madaraka Day in Kajiado.
The Head of State was told the delay in construction work will make it difficult for the event to be held in Kajiado.
Kajiado town suffers a serious shortage of fresh water, poor infrastructure and even the road leading to the proposed stadium site is in a pathetic situation.
Another problem is that the town suffers power outages of an average ten hours a day in a year. Residents are no longer complaining of such outages, probably because they have grown up with them.
The business community in the town has had more than three major meetings with top county officials regarding the proposed June event that has now been transferred to Narok.
Maina Kibuchi, a hotelier, told the Star on Tuesday, they held three meetings with county officials and had been notified to paint their hotels and all the shops two months before Madaraka Day.