Shape up or ship out! Namwamba reads riot act to federations

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba (right) and Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei (left) during a stakeholder engagement meeting with all the sports federations in the country at Kasarani Stadium yesterday. [Jonah Onyango]

New Sheriff in town, Ababu Namwamba yesterday read riot act to all sports federations telling them to either shape up or ship out.

The Sports Cabinet Secretary warned the associations that it will not be business as usual for them in his new term in office.

“For non-compliant federations, it will be either the rule of the law or the rule of the jungle,” Namwamba warned.

The Sports CS was speaking at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi during his first familiarisation meeting with the sports leaders.

During the meeting, Namwamba underlined challenges which the government want the sports stakeholders to adhere to now hence forth.

He said the state want them to be compliant with the Sport Act 2013.

“It’s still not yet clear why some federations are yet to conform to the Sports Act nine years later since it was established,” said Namwamba.

The associations were told to be clear with their national team selections with the CS stating that some call ups do not reflect our true potential as a country.

“In most cases, the selections undermine our performance as a nation,” Namwamba stated.

“Leo tuambiane tu ukweli, kupakana mafuta sijui (let’s just speak the truth today, let’s avoid sugar-coating issues).”

The federation heads were told to desist from clinging to power by all means through holding of dubious elections which are not free and fair.

“Do unto others what you would want others do unto you. Don’t call out for transparency from the government when you do not even want honesty in your office,” said Namwamba.

“Most of you want to be leaders for life, you don’t want successive conveyor belts to flow within your associations, the truth is you should be holding free, fair and democratic elections.”

While the Ministry will strive to avail resources to support the federations, the government want the associations to declare their other sources of funding so both can meet on a level playing field. 

Namwamba warned that brief case associations will not get any funding from the state unless they set up a physical office complete with an address and a functioning secretariat.

“The 17-storey building for the National Olympic Committee-Kenya being built by the government will be complete by January, Sports Ministry and all federations offices will be housed there,” Namwamba explained.

The federations were told to involve the government while organising regional and international championships, but again were warned not to exaggerate their budgets for the events.

“Kindly don’t bring unscrupulous requests, kindly don’t divert federation resources for personal gain,” he said.

The government also want the federations to have a clear development plan to nurture talent which will be funded by the State.

The government will also launch national football team Harambee Stars road to 2030 World Cup in two weeks’ time which will be fully funded by the State.

Speaking on behalf of the federations, Kenya National Sports Council treasurer Charles Nyaberi said they are glad that the Minister has given out a clear route to higher performance in sports.

“I’m happy with the bold step that the CS has taken, it is a wake-up call for us, this will hold us accountable in our actions and funding,” said Nyaberi who doubles up as Kenya Volleyball Federation first vice chairman.

By Agencies Jan. 27, 2023
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