Kaberia: We owe medal winners Sh235 million

By Gilbert Wandera: Wednesday, February 20th 2019 at 09:19 GMT +3 | Sports
Sports PS Peter Kaberia when he appeared before the National Assembly Sports, Culture and Tourism on the 2019-2010 sports budget at Parliament on Tuesday 18/02/19[Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Ministry of Sports has said it owes sportsmen and women Sh235 million in pending awards.

Speaking before a parliamentary committee on sports, culture and tourism, Sports Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia said they have been unable to pay due to lack of funds.

He said the awards keep rising as more athletes continue to win medals in international competitions.

“At the moment, we owe our sportsmen and women who have excelled in past international events Sh235 million. Unfortunately, the figure keeps rising as they continue to win.

“We require budgetary support to be able us to pay considering that these awards continue to encourage our athletes to do well in international events,” he said.

The award scheme was mooted more than ten years ago and has seen Olympic gold winners get Sh1 million, silver medallists take home Sh750,000 and Sh500,000 for bronze medallists.

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The government has, however, not honoured the awards due to budgetary constraints, he said.

Kaberia told the committee they need almost Sh1 billion for various sporting events lined up for this year.

The World Rally leg will cost the country Sh450 million. Other major events coming up include next month’s Kenya Open Golf that will cost tax payer’s more than Sh200 million.

Harambee Stars, who have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals after a 15-year wait, will be allocated Sh244 million.

The ministry will also require another Sh66 million to begin preparations for next year’s IAAF under-20 Championships.

Kaberia told the committee that lack of funding has led to stalling of renovation and building of new stadia.

“We had planned to build seven regional stadia but this has not been possible owing to lack of funding.

“Renovations at Kasarani and Nyayo stadiums have been done but not completed because of lack of finances. The two facilities are however usable though a lot of work still need to be done on them.”

The ministry has not been able to build the five stadia promised when the jubilee government came to power.

Furthermore, the country lost the opportunity to host last year’s Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) due to lack of facilities.

Last year, the ministry also struggled to honour funding requests to national federations and teams representing the country in international events due to lack of funding.

Kaberia said he hopes the sports fund will help the sports ministry to meet some of the budgetary short falls.

The fund has also been enacted and has met at least twice to deliberate on the funding requests.
The fund is funded by tax imposed on betting companies.