Home Business Shape up or ship out, Namwamba tells federation chiefs

Shape up or ship out, Namwamba tells federation chiefs

by kenya-tribune

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has told sports federations to prepare for massive transformation that will kick start a new dawn in sports development in the country at all levels.

Namwamba, who referred to himself as the “new Sheriff in town”, described his return to the sports docket after nine years as a fresh start in the country’s sports sector.

Athletics Kenya President Retired Lieutenant General Jack Tuwei follows proceedings during the meeting between sports federations and the Ministry of Sports at Kasarani on November 16, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Namwamba said that in his journey to develop a marshal plan for sports in the country, he will make it a norm to engage federations for an agreeable road map.

Namwamba talked about his dream to take the national football team, Harambee Stars, to the 2030 Fifa World Cup, introduce more punitive anti-doping laws and a multi-purpose sports complex.

“We must make sports better but we can’t sit in offices and pretend to develop sports. This is an industry that has great potential and we can make it mega not as a side show but a key driver to the economy of this country,” said Namwamba while addressing sports federations officials at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Namwamba said the government will engage sports federations for their input in coming up with sports infrastructure that will be relevant, accessible and modern.

“We shall not drop infrastructure everywhere and haphazardly without a purpose and relevant to the needs of sportsmen and women,” said Namwamba, adding the government will focus on putting up a multi-purpose complex that will serve more than one sport.

“We want to put up facilities that will bring out good fan ambiance to every sport. We want rugby and football fans closer to the pitch,” said Namwamba.

Namwamba said sports federations must have plans to development sports from grassroots to elite level rather than just seek money from the government to host championships or travel for events.

“We want to see federations seek for funds for their development and talent identification programmes,” said Namwamba, who was accompanied by Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo.

Namwamba revealed that he will be meeting football stakeholders in the next two weeks for a grassroots drive that will take the national football team to the 2030 World Cup.

Ababu Namwamba

Acting Football Kenya Federation President Doris Petra and the federation’s CEO Barry Otieno follow proceedings during the meeting between sports federations and the Ministry of Sports at Kasarani on November 16, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Namwamba told the federations that they will have to declare source of funding either from the corporate bodies or respective world sports associations before the government can come in to supplement.

Namwamba said that federations bidding to host championships must involve the government on time and that funds request must be made to Sports Fund six months before each financial year or before a certain event.

“Federations don’t want to declare their other sources of funding yet they want the ministry to fund their budgets. It’s only fair if they too reciprocate,” said Namwamba, adding that they will not tolerate federations that exaggerate their budgets as well as forge documents as they seek for funds.

He added that the ministry will establish a basket where all funding requests will be channeled to for quick action but cautioned that they will not deal with “briefcase federations.”

“All federations seeking for assistance from us must have full-fledged secretariat with proper contacts and address,” said Namwamba, noting that federations getting funds from the ministry will be required to file returns 14 days after the completion of the intended purpose.

Namwamba disclosed that the new state-of-the-art  National Olympic Committee of Kenya headquarters that is under construction in Upper Hill will be ready by the end of January next year.

“All recognised federations will have their offices there so as to end these briefcase federations,” said Namwamba, who directed all the federations to submit reports on their election status.

“What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Federations are for members who require timely, free and fair elections. We can’t have governance issue orchestrated by people who want to govern some sports for life.”

The CS promised to wage an all-out war against doping in the country by the introduction of more punitive rules that will rival drug trafficking laws.

“We are already drafting the laws that will make doping very expensive,” added Namwamba, who also said similar rules will be put in place to curb compromised officiating in football.

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