Sports fraternity give divergent views on Sh100m awarded to artistes

Thursday, April 9th, 2020 00:00 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) gives a thumbs up to AFC Leopards captain Robinson Kamura at State House Nairobi last month. Photo/PD/FILE

Mixed reaction from the sporting fraternity yesterday continued to greet President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Monday decision to award local artistes Sh 100 million in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

Voices of discontent have been hurled the way of the Ministry of Sports over its failure to look into the welfare of the long-suffering sports personalities, some of who are yet to be awarded their winning bonuses for scooping medals at international events, especially given the fact that the money came from the Sports Fund.

Football players and the clubs support staff are facing financial difficulties after the ban of all sporting activities in the country close to a month ago, so are golf caddies and athletes taking part in different disciplines.

Last week during a Skype interview, Cabinet Secretary of Sports Amina Mohamed said the plight of sports personnel would be looked into once logistics had been sorted out.

However, Sports Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Wambugu yesterday told People Sports that there are procedures that dictate funds disbursement and all will depend on budgetary proposals before they look at the available funds.

“All State departmental heads in the Ministry of Sports usually come with a proposal based on a needs-assessment then as a Board we sit and agree.

Once we see what the priority is then disbursement will be done and this is the same thing the Department of Arts and Culture did.

This is a Public Fund which is utilised in accordance to the laws that established the body itself,” he said on phone.

Football Kenya Federation CEO Barry Otieno has weighed in and supported the government in the whole procedure of awarding artistes the support funds.

“I understand the discomfort from the Athletes but I want to say the Sports Funds works well and we have actually witnessed what it has done.

Everybody under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage have a stake because we share the kitty.

I believe it is all about putting a request and doing a follow up and if declined then that will be a different matter.

We should not overreact but give time its course because I do not think the Ministry would be that insensitive to its own people so the noises and complaints at this moment is uncalled for,” he said.

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) president Waithaka Kioni on his part revealed that the Ministry had contacted him  on how the national volleyball teams could be supported.

“I believe the Ministry is working on something because I can confirm I got a call. Maybe all we need is to be patient but if I may recall President Kenyatta last year while meeting  the Malkia Strikers promised that he would ensure the Sports Fund works for Athletes so that need to be implemented fully.”

NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku urged for patience considering the intensive nature of the whole problem.

“I know Ministry is working on something with the different Federations but it is not an easy task considering the net is wide. However Athletes must take the forefront as long as it is in an objective manner.”

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