A €2.2 million rugby stadium project for Kordin announced by disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi just a fortnight before the 2017 general elections is still to begin, two ministers confirmed during a press conference last week.
The main difference between Mizzi’s and last week’s announcement, which came six years apart, is that Konrad Mizzi’s €2.2 million estimated budget for the project has now grown to €8.2 million without the project’s first stone even being laid.
On 21 May 2017 as the country was preparing to go to the polls in 15 days’ time, Konrad Mizzi, who used to contest the Paola district, announced the government project for his constituency’s football club, Hibs FC.
He said that the new state-of-the-art Kordin complex would be used for football and rugby and would be the first such facility of international standard.
Mizzi also put Hibs FC team manager Jesmond Abela, aka il-Ħaċċ, on Project Plus’s payroll so he could dedicate himself full-time to the project with a view to getting it done as quickly as possible.
Abela was also canvassing for Konrad Mizzi at the time that he started receiving a €50,000 annual salary even though his only qualification, as he boasts on social media, was the “knowledge acquired from Paola Square”.
Different ministers were pressed over the years to explain why the project remained at a standstill but none gave any explanation.
But in a sudden development last week, two ministers – Aaron Farrugia and Clifton Grima – paid a visit to Kordin and announced at a press conference that “works on the project are expected to start in the coming days”.
Abela, who has been responsible for the project since 2017, was nowhere to be seen and the ministers were instead accompanied by Andre Previ, who was introduced as the project manager.
Asked to explain how the project’s original €2.2 million estimate has grown to €8.2 million since 2017 even though plans remain practically unchanged, no explanation was given.
Moreover, neither minister nor Projects Plus CEO James Camenzuli would give an indicative completion timeline.