The government admitted that the construction of the Embu International Stadium in five months to host the 2023 Madaraka Day celebrations would be impossible.
Speaking on Tuesday, February 7, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire explained that the organising committee established that constructing a FIFA standard stadium would take longer than the set deadline.
Mbarire disclosed that the venue for the celebration of Madaraka Day had been moved to the Embu Moi Stadium, but the construction of the 20,000-capacity sports complex would go on as planned.
"The celebrations will be held at the Moi stadium. A team from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) is on-site to conduct renovations ahead of the event," she stated.
The county boss made the announcement following a debrief by a multi-agency team including the National Celebrations Technical Committee, Sports Kenya and a team from the KDF.
Mbarire met with traders and businessmen in the market adjacent to the stadium pending their relocation to allow construction works to take place.
Meanwhile, she disclosed that the Permanent Presidential Music Commission had opened auditions for those interested in performing during the celebrations.
The audition would be held between February 14 to 19 within all five sub-counties of the devolved unit.
President William Ruto, who is expected to preside over the celebrations, announced Embu as its host in line with the state's plan to decentralise national celebrations.
On January 18, Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Raymond Omollo announced plans to construct the stadium at the Njukiri grounds.
The grounds that had been used to host the annual Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) show would be converted into a sports arena at minimal costs with the county and national governments sharing the costs.
Notably, KDF would do the lion's share of the work, providing machinery as well as expertise.