A one hour drive on the cab from the Kenyan capital of Nairobi along Mombasa route via Athi River lands you to a beautiful county called Machakos, whose amazing hospitable 1 million plus soccer crazy population leaves me completed awed.
The evidently fast growing county residents should thank the Almighty for the gift of the Governor Alfred Mutua. His reign has seen massive development in the county’s general welfare of the people and most remarkably the social amenities that now includes the recently constructed 10,000 seater Jomo Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
Needless to add, the Governor’s name is on every resident’s lips. “I played several matches on the old dusty pitch. What a change! I would like to walk on that turf sometime soon”, a mesmerised Japheth Musau speaks to Kawowo Sports in an interview.
The ground was a patch of dry land four and half weeks ago. When the The Government of Machakos bid to host CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, they promised to have the stadium ready in six weeks.
Preparations immediately started on the stadium terraces, toilets, two beautiful changing rooms for competing teams, CCTVs, public toilets and an amazing pitch-considered the best in the country started and by the official kick-off date of the 2013 GOtv CECAFA tourney (on 27th November), everything was in place.
The Governor himself personally supervised the project to ensure quality work was done and the end product today speaks for itself.
Though rain had exposed the poor drainage lapse at this stadium, it is a test that has come in quite early and the Governor plus his team of engineers ought to seek for a quick solution.
Otherwise, the Stadium is set to host Uganda playing Eritrea and Rwanda playing Sudan on Monday this coming week in the second group C games .
Other Projects in Machakos:
Mutua’s government is also in the final touches of the most beautiful public park in Africa (Machakos People’s Park). The 35-Acre park which sits by Maruba Dam in Machakos Town, also boasts Africa’s first and only field Amphitheater. The park will be open to the public on December 5, 2013. On top of these initiatives that also include the New Machakos City, several developmental projects for Machakos County.
Agriculture (commercialized farming and free seeds to people), loan schemes of up to Ksh 15m (youth) and Ksh20m (women), Ksh 20m (disabled) and Ksh. 20M (eldely) are being sought as a social welfare empowerment. Health and the City lighting with CCTV’s are also plans in the pipeline by 2014.
For every successful project going on in Machackos County, Alfred Mutua and for the recreational bit, many will cherish him for that 10,000 stadium that has acquired the name Jomo Kenyatta, after the legendary Kenyan head of state.
The Machakos story is a self manifestation that with selfless devotion and commitment of resources (personal or otherwise), even projects like stadium construction that seem to be big dreams before the eyes of many can be accomplished within a record time amidst a high degree of accountability and transparency.
Uganda and the rest of the developing countries, please borrow a leaf.