By Gilbert Wandera
The new Sports Bill that was passed by Parliament yesterday evening promises to revolutionise sports in the country.The document gives immense powers to the new Cabinet Secretary who will now be directly involved in the running of associations.
Officials of sports associations can, however, breathe of sigh of relief as the Bill has deleted a clause that set term limits for them.
The Bill provides that officials will be eligible to be elected for a four-year term which is renewable and has no limit.
However, this is where celebrations by sports officials should end because the new Bill gives the Cabinet Secretary powers to form interim committees to run associations incase of mismanagement of the associations.
Such committees will,† however, not be in place for a period of more than six months and this will likely put the Government on a collision course with international sports bodies like Fifa which do not condone government interference.
Furthermore, the Bill also gives the Cabinet Secretary authority to remove officials of associations without referring to the associations if he is convinced that the said officials are not working in the interest of local sports.†
Another provision is a requirement by all sports associations to come up with a five-year development plan which should be submitted to the Cabinet Secretary.
Funding of sports is also expected to increase following the provision for a sports lottery under the national sports fund.
The Bill proposes to do away with the Sports Stadia Management Board whose functions will be taken over by† the Kenya Sports Development Authority.