Namwamba put to task over his work at ministry

Thursday, August 24th, 2023 05:30 | By
Ababu Namwamba
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba addresses members of the National Assembly in Nairobi, yesterday. PHOTO/ Kenna Claude

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba was yesterday hung on the cross by irate MPs for several hours over his performance and conduct at the ministry.

Appearing before irate MPs over claims the ministry was non-responsive to the interests of Kenyan athletes, Namwamba however, maintained his innocence and insisted that he would not resign.

A visibly shaken Namwamba maintained he was up to the task, saying he had performed to his level best, including awarding athletes handsomely for their performances.

“I believe there is absolutely no sufficient grounds that would cause my resignation. I’m performing exemplary well as CS responsible for this ministry,” he said.

Kajiado Central MP Kanchori Memusi had asked the CS if he was ready to resign in the wake of the allegations made against him.

“In light of all the facts that have been stated and in light of Article 73 of the Constitution, will this House be in order to demand that the CS Hon Ababu resigns? Because he has painted this country in a very bad manner, will we be in order to demand that he resigns? posed Memusi.

“Would you be willing to resign based on the issues raised and the question asked by Hon Memusi?” posed temporary Speaker Martha Wangari.

Migori Woman Rep Fatuma Mohammed wondered how the CS would be asked to resign on issues picked from social media.


Earlier, Namwamba apologised to Parliament for writing a letter to the Speaker asking to be summoned to respond to queries raised against his Ministry.

Namwamba was forced to apologise after Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Kimani Ichung’wa raised the issue about the letter which was addressed to National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, his Senate counterpart Amason Kingi and copied to him.

Ichung’wa pointed out that in the letter, Namwamba had described the issues raised against his ministry as “purporting” and “hearsay.”

Part of the letter written by Namwamba read as follows: “The attention of our ministry has been drawn to statements made respective by MP Kimani Ichung’wah and Senator Simon Cherargei which statements purport to cast aspersions on the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports… Among the immutable norms of parliamentary practice include non-admissibility of hearsay and not condemning anyone unheard and in their absence.”

Ichung’wah termed the letter as “condescending to the institution of Parliament”, faulting the CS for insinuating that the legislators were raising issues on “hearsay.”

“For the record, for this Cabinet Secretary and others, because some may be misguided to believe that as a Leader of Majority, I am here holding brief for Cabinet Secretaries when it comes to matters of accountability, I will hold you to account as if I am the Leader of Minority,” said Ichung’wah.

Grand reception

The CS had been asked to explain how and why the Kenyan team to the Special Olympics Games in Berlin, Germany, jetted out of the country without neither the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts or a representative from the Ministry seeing them off. He was also asked to explain how and why the Cabinet Secretary did not deem it reasonable to receive and celebrate the team for their monumental performance on arrival after the games?

What measures is the Ministry taking to ensure that ill-treatment of athletes doesn’t recur?

Namwamba told members that indeed, he was not at the airport when the team jetted out but some top ministry officials accompanied the team to ensure that all the preparations required are done.

“I can also confirm that we remained in touch with the team throughout the period of these games, we tracked their participation and upon their return from Germany, we had a reception at the airport complete with traditional dancers, we had officers from the ministry, we even had garland of flowers,” explained the CS.

He said on average, the country has multiple teams participating in various activities across the world. In any given month, you might have three or so delegations going to different parts of the world to represent the country.

“We work as a team at the ministry and we take responsibility for different activities at different times. This particular trip did not find me in town because I was performing other duties elsewhere but the team was fully facilitated,” he said.

He said that he remained in touch with the team throughout the period of the games, tracked their participation and upon their return from the trip, had a reception at the airport complete with traditional dancers, we had officers from the Ministry, and we even had garland of flowers.

“I have images and videos of the very elaborate ceremony at JKIA,” he revealed.

The team, the CS said was accompanied by 13 government officials led by Second Lady, Dorcas Rigathi and two officers from her ministry.

“I want to assure the House the Ministry took full responsibility for this team, we provided Sh159 million to support the preparation and participation of this team at the games and that money included support to residential training,” Namwamba told the MPs.

He revealed the Ministry is responsible for the provision of uniforms, sports equipment, travel expenses which include return tickets for the whole delegation, allowances in accordance with the SRC guidelines, accommodation, reception upon return and also rewards for the team.

“I am not aware of any joyriders that accompanied the Kenyan team to the Special Olympics,” he said in relation to a question by Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss.

He said his ministry was among the least funded noting that the other source of funding — the Sports Fund— cater for the needs of many other departments.

“We want the Sports Fund ring fenced to sports and culture activities only, otherwise we will continue struggling in terms of resources,” Namwamba said.

On kitting of the national teams the CS said: “Allow me to clarify that Kenyan teams at this level do not use Adidas as a brand. In fact, the National Olympics Committee of Kenya has a subsisting contract with Nike and so Kenyan teams are by virtue of that contract kitted by Nike.”

Mary Emaase (Teso South) said the dignity of the Special Olympics team players had been compromised and asked the CS to explain whether the ministry was short of funding.

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