Ababu Namwamba under fire over mismanagement of Sports docket

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba.[Jonah Onyango, Standard, Standard]

Leaders have criticised Youth Affairs, Arts and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba over his leadership at the ministry.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei on Tuesday, August 22, in an interview, said that the CS has failed to discharge his duties as required duty and does not seem bothered about the well-being of the athletes.

Shollei revealed that she has on several occasions hosted a majority of athletes at her house in Kitusuru, Nairobi, where they shared their plight.

"I have hosted them (athletes) for breakfast and lunch. They have told me about their challenges and horror stories of what happens to them. They fly economy while the ministry officials are flying business class and first class, sometimes they have a layover of 14 hours," said Shollei.

The Uasin Gishu Woman Representative further cited discrepancy in the application that Namwamba recently launched to promote youth creativity and talent. She also claimed that the players had been spotted donning kits of low quality in different occasions.

"I checked as late as yesterday...looked for the Talanta Hela App but it doesn't exist. They told us it was launched. The other day our team went to Tunisia for the beach games, they were wearing fake uniforms and shoes, knockoffs from Rive road. If you look at the team that went to Trinidad and Tobago, they were also wearing fake uniforms. It just tells you by the time a country reaches a point where our athletes are wearing fake uniforms, there is something wrong with the management of sports," Shollei said.

The lawmaker further noted that doping cases among Kenyan athletes are as a result of corrupt officials running the process on the ground.

"The coaches who issue these drugs are known. Why is it that they have not been arrested? None of those young people know about doping. The Anti-Narcotic Unit is in on it," she claimed.

She insinuated that the athletes' department is infiltrated by rogue officials who are leading the ministry to the wrong direction.

Her remarks come barely a week after National Assembly Leader of Majority Kimani Ichung'wah questioned Namwamba's leadership.

Ichung'wah said that the CS was misusing the privileges he enjoys from the position, instead of using it to serve sportsmen and women.

"You were made a minister to serve the people and if you are made the Minister of Sports; you must serve the sportsmen and women of our country. It is indeed extremely sad that such good ambassadors of our country can leave Kenya without due recognition," said Ichung'wah.

He also expressed disappointment on how the athletes usually jet back to the country without a proper reception by the Ministry.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei also weighed in on the matter saying that the CS is mismanaging the ministry.

"How can ministry officials fly first class with their girlfriends to Budapest, Hungary at the expense of our athletes? Our female athletes are being exploited sexually and economically. Parliament must summon the Sports CS to avert disastrous mismanagement," Cherargei said.

The Standing orders require that if one makes an allegation against any public servant, then he or she should be able to substantiate them.

Namwamba is yet to appear before the House to answer to the allegations.