By Steve Mkawale
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has defended the contract signed between the Harambee Stars Management Board and the East Africa Breweries Limited allowing the latter to use images of Kenya’s sportsmen and women in advertisement without financial gains to the athletes.
Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando said the contract between the two organization clearly gives EABL the rights to use the images in their advertisements.
"The contract was signed in 2011 and was further renewed in this financial year. It is clear about the use of the images of the sportsmen and women. The newly formed Football Kenya Federation is aware of the contract," said Kabando.
He said the company sponsors the national soccer team to a tune of Sh110million and the process allowed to use the images.
Kabando denied claims by Eldoret South MP Perris Chepchumba that international soccer star Dennis Oliech resigned from the national team due to the use of his image without any financial gains.
"Oliech has not officially communicated to the ministry over his resignation. As far as we are concerned is that Oliech is still a member of the harambee stars team and he even been included in the current team that will play in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers." The minister said.
But his answer drew sharp reactions from Makadara MP Gideon Mbuvi, nominated MP Rachel Shabesh and Boni Khalwale of Ikolomani who said it was in public domain that Oliech had resigned from the national team.
"Mr. Speaker I have communication from Oliech and I have even spoken to him on phone over the same issue. I hereby table the email he wrote me and copied to Football Kenya Federation," claimed Mbuvi.
But Temporary Speaker Ekwe Ethuro dismissed the email, saying the document was not authentic and therefore not admissible.
Shebesh informed the minister that it was in public domain that EABL was using the images of Oliech and other footballers.
"Those who have interest in soccer are well aware of what is going on about the sponsorship deal and the minister should be informed that the players images are on billboards across the country," said Shebesh.