Ababu reads Riot Act to Rugby Union
Sports Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ababu Namwamba yesterday warned the management of the Kenya Rugby Union that it would not be business as usual amid an outcry over the handling of players’ welfare.
Namwamba read the Riot Act at the ministry offices where he was flanked by KRU officials led by Chairman Oduor Gangla. He berated the Union over what he called shameful conduct in regard to pending player allowances and salaries, which was highlighted at the weekend by Shujaa team members ahead of their Cape Town and Dubai Series legs.
KRU was put on the spot over its governance and leadership styles even as the Cabinet Secretary promised to sort out the arrears before the team stepped into the pitch for their first match this Friday.
“We have had a fruitful and frank discussion with KRU and in no uncertain terms, I have had to read the riot because it is unacceptable what the national team players are currently going through. We expected improved governance and issues of integrity being a the front and centre of how things will be done,” he said.
Namwamba also talked of government interventions to ensure that the brand of rugby continued to stand out like it did in previous years.
“I will soon be convening a roundtable (meeting) on sponsorship whereby we will be taking to potential suitors to come on board and rescue our beloved sport. We need to go back to basics ad this is one way that has to be dressed. I am happy that on this we are on the same page with the Union. For me, I am looking at plate welfare being at the heart of the conversation because ultimately they are the ones who matter more.”
On his part, Gangla apologised for the failures of the union.
“We are responsible for all our teams and I have to accept that we have fallen short and not met expectations of may. Our country is known and recognized as a rugby nation; a sport that has brought us honour and pride A lot has been said and we take it on the chin because ultimately we have failed our players. We undertake moving forward to be the best and encourage more transparency. We need a remedy for cash flow since Covid kind of dried our taps and we are forced now to be more innovative. We had a productive engagement with our CS who promised to support our dreams. We have to up our game so that we get our belief back,” he stated
Gangla who was hard-pressed by the Media to show remorse for his charges confirmed that even with tiny resources, they had made some strides.
He confirmed that the union owed Shujaa players three months' dues and the Lionesses five months of their training allowances.
KRU says the past few months have been draining to them, with their key partners having a challenge of remitting sponsorship funds amounting to over Sh. 14.5 million due to economic challenges.
“ The success of rugby to a large extent the effort put on by players. Sometimes we have gone above and beyond our resources and indeed punched beyond our weight. We have made some giant leaps regardless,” he said.
.We have not yet hit these deplorable levels yet and it is incumbent upon us to ensure it does not repeat itself.”