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IT WASN’T US: CS Wario blames FKF for Harambee Stars/Cape Verde travel saga

FOOTBALL By ROBIN TOSKIN | February 10th 2016
SA LABOUR N SOCIAL WELFARE COMMITTEE- SPORTS CS WARIO Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario accompanied by his PS Richard Ekai, State Department of Arts And Culture Joe Okudo and Commissioner of Sports Gordon Oluoch responds to questions during their meeting with the Senate Labour and Social Welfare Committee at Parliament on Tuesday 09/02/16 sheds light on the Harambee Stars trip to Cape Verde.PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO

The Sports ministry has refused to take responsibility for the Cape Verde debacle that saw national football team Harambee Stars, delayed at the Wilson Airport for close to eight hours.

Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, yesterday told the Senate Labour and Social Welfare Committee inquiring into the Cape Verde trip, that the ministry acted per the federation’s request.

Mr Wario, however, accused FKF of making late requisitions, making it difficult to disburse funds on time.

The committee was further taken aback by the ministry’s revelation that the actual figure spent on chartering the aircraft was Sh27million, Sh 9.7million more than the Sh 17.2 reported earlier.

The federation is also on the spot over the kind of aircraft used, after committee chairman Senator Steward Madzayo (Taita Taveta), demanded to know  if it was aware the delay was occasioned by an earlier engagement by the aircraft to ferry miraa.

The ministry officials were hard pressed to explain why the national team was held up at the airport for hours, which resulted in its dismal performance in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifying return leg.

Senator Muriuki Karue (Nyandarua) put the CS task, arguing that even with his limited window in micro-managing FKF, it was his responsibility to ensure that the team was facilitated to travel to avoid the hitch.

“Kenyans would really like to know what happened. What was the role of FKF in the whole saga and the Government’s intervention,” Mr Karue put to the CS.

Wario in his response shifted the blame to the federation.

“We were let down by the federation. The ministry intervened and that’s why the team was able to make its trip to Cape Verde after hours of delay.

Let’s give credit where it’s due,” Wario said.

He stressed: “FKF should take full responsibility. The blame lies squarely with the federation. We gave out money as requested. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is probing the matter.”

The minister said the ministry supported the team despite the shortcomings of the football management in ensuring the Cape Verde match was played.

Karue aaked if there was a national policy guiding the affairs of the sport in the country to curb mismanagement of funds and streamline the sector.

“We entrust the ministry with our funds, so we must demand accountability. The ministry cannot have full control of expenditure,” said Karue.

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