Kenya's cash-strapped sports federations turn to parliament for funding

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-05 21:31:31|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Sporting federations in Kenya on Tuesday appeared before a parliamentary committee in the capital to present grievances occasioned by lack of adequate financing.

Players accompanied federation chiefs to the Sports, Culture, and Tourism parliamentary committee where the Ministry of Sports, Heritage, and Culture was criticized over an impasse on funds allocation.

It followed a heated back and forth between local sports governing bodies and ministry officials over funding in recent days where cash-strapped federations have decried inadequate funding.

"We've not heard anything from anyone. We have regional tournaments coming up and other things. We have become innovative in the face of this," Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa told the committee. He was accompanied to the meeting by players from the senior men and women national sides Harambee Stars and Starlets.

In his presentation, Mwendwa denied claims his federation had failed to account for money given to them for national teams including 244 million shillings (236,388 dollars) given for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign.

"I have brought with me the full accountability documents with me. If any member needs to look at it and question it, they should do so," said Mwendwa, "Until this week, it is the first time we received a letter from the PS (Principal Secretary) to do that accountability."

Last week, FKF and the ministry were involved in a tug-of-war over how the AFCON money was spent in the pre-tournament camp in France and the finals in Egypt. Peter Kaberia, Principal Secretary in the Sports Ministry, gave FKF a Nov. 11 deadline to account for the money or risk withdrawal of further funding.

Besides football, other federations who were represented at the meeting included the Kenya Rugby Union whose property was seized last week by auctioneers over debt. Kenya 7s captain, Andrew Amonde was among the stars who packed the committee hall.

Officials from athletics and boxing were also present as the country battles a financial crisis that has gripped major sports federations.