Unveiled Gor Mahia team Bus at Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani. Nov 11, 2023. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia yesterday unveiled their brand new team bus at a colourful event held at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

K'Ogalo received their customized 42-seater Isuzu bus courtesy of the Information, Communication and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo Foundation.

It is a promise that Owalo had made to the club last year on September 27.

The new machine was unveiled barely a few months after their former bus was auctioned by their former player Wellington Ochieng to recover his salary arrears.

Despite receiving the state-of-the-art bus worth Sh23 million, Gor failed to capitalise on league leaders Posta Rangers' stumble (1-1 AFC Leopards) as they drew 0-0 with third-placed Murang'a SEAL in a top of the table encounter at Kasarani. 

The bus registration number KDN 068 N has the 68 number and the club’s emblem embedded at the back to signify the year (1968) the club was established.

The FVR 90 Isuzu bus painted in the green home colour of Gor Mahia has a Wi-Fi on board, music system, foldable TVs, USB charging sockets and inclined 2 by 2 seats configuration with two sets of VIP seats.

The bus has also a galaxy roofing with surrounding lighting that befits the status of the team.

Initially the bus had 67 seats but had its capacity reduced for the purpose of comfort during the long distance inbound travel for the team's official use. 

Hundreds of Gor fans braced the chilly morning weather and lined along major routes that the bus passed to the stadium.

The journey that started at the General Motors Headquarters on Mombasa Road at 6am sneaked it's way through Southern Bypass, Outering Road, Donholm roundabout, Jogoo Road, City Stadium, Landies Road, Machakos Country Bus, Moi Avenue at Tom Mboya Statue, Globe Cinema to Kasarani through Thika Road.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo (right) and Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier join K'Ogalo fans in a jig during the unveiling of the club's bus at Isuzu East Africa offices, Nairobi on Nov 11, 2023. [Henry Kwenya]

Speaking during the event, Owalo said he has done it out of goodwill promising to continue supporting the sports in the country.

‘‘In line with the pledge I made earlier, I am pleased that the time is now here to deliver the club bus to the Mighty Gor Mahia. This is a club I need when I am in low spirit and I have been a fan since the 1980s and is the onus of us to help Gor Mahia as its fans,’’ Owalo said.

The CS urged other well-wishers to come on board and not only support Gor Mahia, but also other clubs.

‘‘Unfortunately a club like Gor Mahia has been operating without a bus. It has been embarrassing to us all. I reached out to friends in the last four months and I have delivered the bus for today and for the foreseeable future,’’ Owalo said.

‘‘I have extended to other teams in the country. I donated cash and jerseys to both Shabana and AFC Leopards. I have also supported the national basketball teams.’’

Owalo said poor leadership within the sporting industry is among the things that have derailed the growth of sports in the country. He promised to help Gor Mahia build their stadium.

"It’s unfortunate that the problem we are facing is bad governance unless and until this is sorted out. We must fix the leadership and governance challenges of sports in this country,’’ he stated.

Former Harambee Stars captain Austin Oduor, John Bobby Ogolla, David Ochieng, Isaiah Omondi, James Goro Oronge and Peter Dawo are among the 29 Gor Mahia legends who graced the event.

Unveiled Gor Mahia team Bus at Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani. Nov 11, 2023. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Others are Tobias Ochola, Mike Otieno, George Onyango Fundi, George Sunguti, Maurice Ochieng Sonyi, Julius Owino, Sammy Omollo, Victor Onyango, Josiah Ougo, Swaleh Ochieng, Nick Akura, Amos Nandy, Maurice Ole Tunda, Charles Omondi Korea, Mike Adede Okoyeba, Paul Ochieng, Ignacius Khaduli, Jared Ochieng Achieng, Michael Kisagi, Daniel Ogada, Caesar Handa, Dave Okello and Dennis Oliech. 

Bobby Ogolla urged the team to take advantage of the goodwill to post good results.

"The benchmark has been set by us, they must strive to get there and emulate what we have done," he stated.

"We played football out of passion to promote our name and the name of the team."

David Ochieng, a former club's captain said: "The CS has identified himself with us legends. This is a great move that should be emulated by other leaders."

Maurice Sonyi Ochieng, one of pioneer players of the team, appealed to the government to put structures that will rescue legends in the future.

"Most of us are languishing in poverty because of poor structures. The government should put mechanisms in place to rescue the future of players," he said.

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