Sports CS calls for more consultations on Amendment Bill

Thursday, October 14th, 2021 00:00 | By
Sports CS Amina Mohamed (right) with PS Joe Okudo at a past event. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed wants more consultations done before the Sports Amendment Bill of 2021 can be discussed in parliament.

The CS was speaking yesterday when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.

Amendments seeking to devolve the functions of the Sports Registrar and delegation of sports to counties are the key areas the CS wants addressed.

Devolved function

“These functions cannot be devolved because this is a regulatory agency and thus part of the national government.

We thus ask that we consult with stakeholders to make more amendments to the bill,” Amina said in her opening submission virtually in a session that was chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

Amina believes some sensitive clauses are counterproductive to the growth of sports in the country.

“It will become difficult to have different laws for different regions. It will affect the running of sports bodies in the country.

It will even be hard selecting national teams for international competitions. And if we are not careful, the country might end-up being banned due to wrangles and not speaking in one voice,” she warned.

She added: “It was therefore the wish of the Ministry to have the bill shelved to allow us have a session with the Senate and thereafter undertake a holistic review of the legal instruments governing the industry in consultation with stakeholders.”

The bill, sponsored by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, seeks to amend the Sports Act of 2013 courtesy of wide-ranging changes to the Sports Registrar’s office, Sports Kenya and the Kenya Academy of Sports.

During the session that was also attended by Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, they presented a raft of proposals in response to the amendments included in the bill.

Among the contentious issues in the bill is a proposal to change definition of a county sports association to one that oversees a particular sport operating within the county.

However, Sports Registrar Rose Wasike argued that, that would amount to making county sports organisations autonomous units away from their respective national federations, which would put Kenya in trouble with various international bodies.

“County sports associations are a branch of a national sports body whose reach is only within a county.

The definition proposed by the bill suggests that sports organisations are autonomous and independent from the national federations,” Wasike said.

Another sticking point is the proposed amendment to section 46 of the Sports Act, which seeks to bar the registration of sports clubs that have not been registered with the Registrar of Companies.

“One of the reasons the Sports Act was enacted was to delink the functions of the Sports Registrar, Registrar of Companies and Registrar of Societies. This amendment goes against the original objective of the sports act,” Wasike argued.

The Ministry is also opposed to proposals to alter the functions and jurisdiction of the Sports Dispute Tribunal, arguing that its regulations are governed by the Judiciary.

“Neither the ministry, the national assembly nor the senate can amend the jurisdiction of the court or tribunal.

All proceedings and regulations governing the tribunal are developed by the judiciary,” she said.

However, the Ministry agreed with other proposals in the bill, chiefly, the establishment of the office of the director of sports to replace that of the commissioner of sports.

They are also in agreement about the proposal to delink the functions of Sports Kenya and Kenya Academy of Sports.

“The ministry will spearhead the amendment process to separate the functions of the two where it will consider the proposed amendment,” Wasike said.

Senator Alice Milgo speaking onbehalf of the committee promised to look at the memorandum keenly and consider their inclusion in the bill.

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