Kenyan sports fraternity has warmly welcomed the nomination of Ababu Namwamba as the new Sports and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary.
Namwamba, who currently holds the post of Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was among the 21 Cabinet Secretaries named by President William Ruto as he unveiled his Cabinet at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday.
Namwamba will take over from the outgoing CS Amina Mohamed if his nomination is approved by Parliament.
But this will not be the first time for the former Budalangi legislator to serve in the sports docket as he held a similar position in 2012.
Having spearheaded the enactment of the 2013 Sports Act, Namwamba seems to be aware of what lies ahead of him if his post on his twitter page on Monday is anything to go by.
And from ensuring Kenya’s suspension by Fifa is lifted to fighting the doping menace in athletics, investing in developing talent, improving the sports infrastructure, completion of stalled projects to proper funding to national teams, a full in-tray awaits the incoming CS.
“Harambee Stars stand banned by Fifa from international football since 25 Feb 2022. They are missing out on Afcon 2023 qualifiers among other competitions. Fifa should be robustly engaged to resolve the impasse even as this ban period is smartly used to reinvigorate local football,” read a post on Namwamba’s twitter account on Monday.
Embattled Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa simply said: “Football has suffered for almost a year now and he will for sure help us solve this mess.”
Former FKF president Sam Nyamweya and presidential aspirant Twaha Mbarak both congratulated him on his return to the sports docket.
“I worked with Namwamba before and I know he will reform our sports and more so football,” said Nyamweya.
Twaha said: He knows football matters. He championed the enactment of the Sports Act that’s why I’m confident he will clean up our game. He needs to call a stakeholders meeting and chart the way forward.”
Former CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye described Namwamba as the right person for the job.
"He is equal to the task, brilliant and he was there before. He is capable of streamlining the ministry. That ministry needs someone with knowledge and capacity to control federations," said Musonye.
Kenya Volleyball Federation deputy president Charles Nyaberi said: “There are a lot of issues at the ministry that need to be resolved. Proportionate funding has been hurting us. The ministry sponsored Malkia Strikers in the qualifiers but right now they are at the World Championships without funding.”
National Olympic Committee of Kenya also hailed Namwamba’s nomination.