Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah Raises Concerns Over County Government’s Decision to Relocate Stadium
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has expressed reservations about the County Assembly’s last-minute alterations to the plans for constructing the county’s main stadium. The National Reconstruction Alliance (NRA) politician has objected to the proposal to move the stadium from its original location to the grounds of the Busia Agricultural Training Center.
In a letter addressed to the County Youth, Sports, and Gender Chief Officer, Saviour Panyako, Omtatah criticized the county for not conducting sufficient public participation before approving the changes. According to the senator, the newly designated site for the stadium was initially intended for the establishment of an agricultural university.
Omtatah also revealed that the budget allocated for the stadium’s reconstruction, ranging from Ksh80 million to Ksh100 million, is inadequate. He argued that disbursing additional funds could strain the county’s finances, already burdened by financial constraints.
Regarding the budget, Omtatah remarked, “The First Supplementary Budget is entirely insufficient for such a large project. It may not even cover the architectural and engineering designs for the proposed state-of-the-art stadium, assuming the County Executive genuinely intends to build one.” He further added, “Given the current budget limitations faced by both the Busia County Executive and the nation at large, there are no billions of shillings available for the design and construction of such an ambitious stadium.”
The outspoken senator also criticized the county government for not consulting the board responsible for the Agricultural Training Center regarding the new project. He emphasized the importance of the board’s involvement and approval under the law for any actions, including land use changes.
Omtatah’s remarks were prompted by an initial letter from Saviour Panyako, which called for public participation before the county government proceeded with the stadium’s relocation. The letter stated, “We have scheduled a public meeting on 17th October 2023 at ATC Grounds from 8.00 a.m. to Noon. During this meeting, we will discuss the proposed relocation in detail, addressing concerns.”
The letter also justified the relocation by explaining that the initial stadium location was too small to allow for its expansion, prompting the county government to seek a more spacious site for the stadium. It described the Agricultural Training Center (ATC) as an ideal location, citing its serene setting as a key factor in the decision.