Sports CS Ababu Namwamba responds to critics

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

Youth Affairs and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has responded to criticism by some of the top leaders of Kenya Kwanza in Parliament saying that he has run the ministry well.

Namwamba has been under fire both on social media and at the National Assembly lately, for allegedly mismanaging the ministry.

In an interview with Ken Mijungu on KTN News Hour, the CS said he is ready to interact with parliament, respond to the allegations, and make clarifications where needed.

"If anybody is targeting me for whatever reason, if there is anything like that it will soon come out. And for me, I have absolutely no problem because this is also an opportunity to listen to the concerns of members of parliament. respond to those concerns and interact," he said.

"You get a feeling also that limited interaction could also fuel a lot of misunderstanding. And this kind of interaction for me, gives me an opportunity to share information."

"So I have no problem with it. You saw it like it'd be nice to know and say I'm a believer in parliamentary oversight. And I think there should be more opportunities of this nature not just for me, but for cabinet for the executive to entitle where they're not being mentioned."

According to Namwaba, the sports ministry had a lot of challenges when he took office late last year.

He said since assuming office, he has been dealing with the rising cases of doping, a lack of support for retired sportsmen and women.

As a result, he wants to work with parliament to increase the ministry's funding in order to solve underlying issues.

Namwamba says that he inherited a messed up ministry and in order to deal with the issues facing them he needs help from both parliament and cabinet.

I would love to have Parliament as a partner to increase funding to sports.

"I would love to have Parliament as a partner to fix the challenges of governance and accountability in some sporting federations. So actually see Parliament as a crucial partner," he told KTN New

"Parliament has a budgeting role. Parliament has a legislative role. And those roles are critical in any of us who seeks to deliver services to the public

The CS also used the opportunity to clarify some facts, which he argued had been misunderstood for lack of sufficient information.

First he says Kenya is on a contract with Nike, for players' kitting, therefore dismissing the idea that adidas dresses Kenyan athletes.

He said that the government's role in sporting activities is regulatory and that management of sportsmen and women is done by respective federation where a lot of corruption, mismanagement and embezzlement run the day.

"The athletics Kenya National Olympic Committee of Kenya, with our autonomous agencies have entered into a contract with Nike. For instance, our team in Budapest cannot put on anything other than Nike. Those are issues of intellectual property, there are issues of copyright. Nike, the Nike Tick is copyrighted. You cannot mix it with anything,"

"The other thing we got the opportunity to clarify is that the Federation takes responsibility for events. It is a federation that generates budgets manages the sportsmen and women in their space and the government plays a facilitative role. Government plays our regulatory role."

"That is where you see when you're tempted to touch football. FIFA comes with a big stick and tells us we are going to ban Kenya because of government interference."

"So it's important for us to share with members of parliament that sports management is a very big shared responsibility."

On Tuesday, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss said in an interview that the CS has failed to discharge his duties as required.

She went on to reveal that she had hosted a majority of athletes at her house in Kitusuru, Nairobi, where they shared their plight on many occasions.

Similar sentiments were shared by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwah, who demanded that the CS be summoned over allegations that national sportsmen and women were being neglected at the expense of a few individuals.

He appeared before parliament on Wednesday where he denied the claims.

He responded to the allegations that he neglected the Special Olympics World Games Kenya team in Berlin, Germany in June this year where Sh159 million was used to support the team's preparation and participation in the games.