MPs want Sports PS probed by EACC after meeting federation bosses

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 04:34 |
Kenya Rugby Union Vice-Chairman Thomas Opiyo makes his submissions when sports federation bosses appeared before the Sports, Culture and Arts in Nairobi yesterday. With him is AK vice-president Paul Mutwii (centre) and FKF boss Nick Mwendwa. PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Sports federations bosses continued their war with Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia but were also at pains to explain a number of issues in their respective associations when they appeared before the Parliamentary Committee in charge of Sports, Culture and Arts in Nairobi yesterday. 

Under Parliamentary privilege, there was nothing to hide from Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa, his Kenya Hockey Union counterpart Nashon Randiek, Kenya Rugby Union vice-chairman Thomas Opiyo, Athletics Kenya senior vice-president Paul Mutwii and Kenya Table Tennis Association chairman Andrew Mudibo. The federation bosses, who were accompanied by their respective players,  labelled Kaberia a bulldozer who can get things done but has decided otherwise.

Kaberia, who is the administrator of the Sports Fund, was blamed for micromanaging the kitty to the extent of frustrating national teams due to constant delays in disbursing money even after it has been approved. 

Opiyo said: “Tomorrow (Wednesday), we have a team going to South Africa for the Olympics qualifiers and as we speak, we are not sure where the funds will come from to pay the players’ salaries and bonuses. That is the situation with most of our rugby teams.”  He added: “We have tried to seek audience with the PS in regards to why proceeds from the Sports Fund were not being disbursed to federations but it now appears there is a button that needs to be touched for the money to be disbursed.”

Taking cue from Opiyo, Mutwii told the committee, chaired by Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, that AK is behind schedule as far as the World Under-20 2020 Championships preparations are concerned and that athletes who took part in the Doha Worlds did not get the necessary support.

“Our budget for residential camp before Doha was Sh17 million but it never came and with Under-20 Championships set for next year, we had requested Sh91 million to help us send the juniors to 12 camps across the country to help us prepare well. At the moment, we don’t even have feedback from the ministry,” said Mutwii, adding that prize money for medallists from various events is yet to be paid.

He was, however, not able to explain how Kenyan athletes are being lured by other nations and how much AK receives from their kit sponsor Nike.

OB Van queries 

“This is an agreement between an athlete and their parent so we cannot do much if they are approached individually by these nations. On the issue of Nike, I don’t know and honestly, I don’t care how much they give us as long as they provide us with kits,” said Mutwii in response to Nandi Women Rep Tecla Chebet.

Mwendwa, meanwhile, reiterated continued sabotage of FKF by the PS.

“The problems are bigger than us. In all the meetings with the CS, she tells us the money is there go talk to the PS, but that is as far as it goes. Sanctions are likely to follow should Starlets fail to honour the Olympics qualifier against Zambia,” said Mwendwa.  Gatudu North MP Wanjiku Kibe asked Mwendwa to explain the status of the Outside Broadcasting Van (OB Van) allegedly purchased by FKF and has not been delivered over one year since it was paid for. “Just like KRU, there are so many companies waiting to auction our properties. We have been listed as unsecured creditors. Our supplier WTS Media Group Limited went under after we had paid them to purchase the OB Van from Supersport. I was in the UK recently, where the company is based, and unfortunately the company is under administration,” he said. 

Baringo South Member of Parliament Charles Kamuren said the problem affecting sports seems to be centrerd around the PS and called on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate him and the Auditor General to visit the Sports Ministry. 

Randiek said his federation is owned Sh12 million by the government dating back to 2014-2015 with players yet to be paid their allowances.

Munyaka directed that Sports CS Amina Mohamed and Kaberia appear  before the committee to the latest claims from federations heads.

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