MPs want state to accord top sportsmen VIP security

The late Marathon World Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum and Sports CS Ababu Namwamba. [File, Standard]

Members of Parliament want the government to ensure athletics champions are accorded VIP security.

National Assembly Sports Committee members who addressed a press conference at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, on Tuesday said that athletic champion Kelvin Kiptum's life could have been saved if he had security detail.

Kiptum died on Sunday after the vehicle he was driving veered off the road and hit a tree.

Yatta MP Robert Basil said that it was shameful that Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba was talking about plans to accord the late athlete a befitting sendoff yet his security had not been taken care off while he was alive considering he was to compete in a marathon where he was expected to set a new world record.

“Sportsmen of Kiptum’s stature are accorded VIP treatment in other countries but it is disappointing that in our country where we have several award winning international athletes they are not accorded protection befitting their status which makes them vulnerable to danger,” said Basil.

Turkana North MP Ekwam Nabuin called on the Ministry of Sports to come up with measures to safeguard the welfare of sportsmen who have put Kenya on the global map.

Nabuin said that sportsmen should not be celebrated only when they win but should be treated well at all times since they are marketing the country on the global scene.

“We are calling on the Directorate of Criminal Investigation to expedite its investigation over the manner in which Kelvin Kiptum met his death since he was an award winning athlete and it is important for Kenyans to know what exactly happened to him to bring the matter to closure,” the MP said.

The legislators said that the National Assembly Sports Committee will come up with legislation to ensure top sportsmen are accorded VIP security and enjoy other privileges befitting their stature since they are the global ambassadors for the country.

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