Extend probe to other sporting disciplines

Thursday, October 28th, 2021 00:00 | By
Sports CS Amina Mohamed at a past function. Photo/PD/PHILLIP KAMAKYA

That Kenyan football has been synonymous with heart-wrenching scandals is an open secret.

The popular sport, from which many players eke out a living, has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) was ordered by the Sports ministry to present it with its audited accounts following reports that millions of shillings meant for player allowances had fallen on unscrupulous hands.

For starters, the federation has been taken to task to account for funds amounting to Sh244.6 million advanced by the government for preparation and participation of the national soccer team Harambee Stars at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.

Those behind the mess, if found culpable,  must   be dealt with ruthlessly. It is a crime to kill the dreams of so many young people.

The Sports ministry says it was left with no option but to rein in the officials it suspects had embezzled funds.

The spirit of the game is such that the government does not interfere with operations but when issues are handled so callously, it calls for intervention.

As such, the directed probe by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Auditor-General is most welcome.

But while we are calling on the law to take its course after the audit, the government should ensure the probe is extended to other federations which have not held proper elections and where officials have overstayed in office.

Indeed, some are being run as family affairs with brothers and cousins sharing leadership positions.

For instance, we are yet to decipher why bodies such as Athletics Kenya (AK) are yet to hold elections for many years and why their accounts have not yet been checked by an independent auditor.

The ministry cannot afford to be viewed as one that makes selective decisions where such grave matters are concerned.

In the same vein, the National Olympics Committee, which will be conducting its polls on November 16, must ensure the elections are above board.

Murmurs and rumours doing rounds are not good for the organisation. It is worse that some of the serving officials have been arraigned in court for mismanagement of sports.

Needless to say, the ball is squarely in the government’s court to ensure it encompasses all sports in its audits so that the shameless mischief and theft of funds meant for development of sports in the country comes to an end.

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