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President Kenyatta's administration pledged five new stadiums in regional hubs in the 2013 campaign manifesto/FILE

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President Kenyatta says 2013 stadia pledge on track

KISUMU, Kenya, Oct 23 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday promised to ensure his campaign pledges on matters stadiums are achieved as he officially launched the construction of the Sh415 million Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu.

President Kenyatta said he is determined to have stadiums built in all the regions to help in nurturing talents of young people across the country.

His administration pledged five new stadiums in regional hubs in the 2013 campaign manifesto.

“We said that we will build stadiums in all regions in the country to build stadiums to the international standards to help our young people,” he told residents of the lakeside city of Kisumu.

Kenyatta said the stadium, with a 30,000-seater capacity will be fitted with modern equipment to help young people catch up with what is trending globally.

Speaking at Mamboleo Agricultural Society of Kenya grounds, where the new stadium is being built, Kenyatta said the aim is to develop talents that can compete outside the country.

“We want to see them on television playing for Liverpool, Manchester United out there,” he said.

He noted that the vision will be archived if the government develops proper stadia, saying Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium is one such facility.

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Kenyatta told the contractor to ensure the stadium is ready by April next year for official opening.

“We will be back here next year to officially open this stadium and watch a clash between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopard,” he said.

He directed the construction of a road leading to the Stadium for easy access noting that the current state is deplorable.

President Kenyatta later laid the foundation for the construction of a Sh110 million Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Centre.

Kenyatta announced that his administration will add another Sh100 million for the modernization of the stadium.

“I want to announce that the government will add another Sh. 100 million for the completion of the stadium,” he said.

Kenyatta said he is destined to officially open the two stadiums next year once they are completed to allow the public to use them.

Raila Odinga, the former Prime Minister who accompanied the Head of State, said soccer talents lying undetected in Western Kenya region will be discovered with the operationalization of the revamped sports complex.

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