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Uhuru challenges counties to develop, maintain stadiums

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged counties to use limited resources at their disposal to help build and improve the sporting facilities so as to enhance talent growth.

The President expressed concern that the development of most sports facilities in counties have stalled owing to corruption and negligence.

“Counties have money and personnel to help improve their infrastructure and sporting facilities. The county government should therefore prioritize these projects and ensure they are completed within the stipulated timelines,” he said.

The Head of State made the comments during the official opening of the newly built ultra-modern 7,500 capacity Ulinzi Sports Complex at Langata Barracks, in Nairobi.

He praised the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for ensuring the project is completed in a record 16 months and urge counties to benchmark using Ulinzi Sports Complex.

The Head of State commissioned the construction of the facility on October 28, 2020, alongside the then Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma.

“There are fields and Stadium which have been built for up to 10 years but they are still at the foundation stage. Counties should emulate this project and as a country, we will go far in terms of infrastructure development if that is done.” he added.

President Kenyatta was accompanied by Juma, Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Chief of Defence Forcer Robert Kibochi among a host of top KDF officials and other dignitaries.

The President Kenyatta also announced the new facility will host 52nd Edition of the 2022 Athletics Championship next week. He also called on KDF to engage corporate companies to help maintain and manage the complex.

“This complex needs robust management to maintain its international standards. This calls for corporate partnership so that this facility can remain in good status always.”

Kibochi thanked stakeholders such as Equity and KCB banks for aiding equip the facility with a gym and other areas and called on other companies to follow suit.

“This is a dream come true and all those who did this job did fantastic work. What is important is that we use the facility well and help tap a lot of talents,” he said.

Wamalwa added that the facility adds to others the military is owning and called on the youths within the forces to use the complex to develop their talents so that KDF can have a strong team in participating in various competitions locally and internationally.

Earlier, the President kicked off the series of activities of the day including short races comprising of athletes from the Kenya Navy, Kenya Airforce, National Police Service, Kenya Prisons Service, and the military wives association.

The soldiers participated in the 100m and 4×100 races for both men and women.

This was followed by an exhibition match involving defending Football Kenya Federation Premier League champions Tusker and hosts Ulinzi Stars which ended in a barren draw.

The 30 minutes match was officiated by a senior Fifa referee Peter Waweru.