Sports loses big in national budget

Saturday June 15 2019

Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Finance Henry Rotich.

Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Finance Henry Rotich with his briefcase outside the Parliament Buildings on June 13, 2019 before going to read the 2019/2020 Budget. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The sports industry is among the biggest losers in budget proposed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Thursday afternoon.

While reading the 2019/20 budget, Rotich said that the Sports, Culture and Arts departments would be given Sh5.3 billion to fund their activities, but they will have to share this amount with youth, women, and people living with disabilities.

This proposed amount will be taken from the Sports, Art, Social and Development Fund that was introduced under the Sports Act 2013 to support sporting activities. This kitty was to get its seed money from taxes collected from betting firms.

But in an equally baffling move, CS Rotich further directed that a further Sh7.9 billion be taken from the sports fund and used for universal healthcare.

“To support Sports Culture and Arts, I have allocated Sh5.3 billion from the Sports Fund to support youth, women and person living with disabilities in areas such as sports and arts.

“In addition, I have allocated Sh7.9 billion from the Sports, Art, Social and Development Fund to fund the universal healthcare initiatives,” the CS said when tabling the budget before Parliament.

With the new budget, national teams and individuals representing Kenya in international competitions will be the worst hit, as it means there will be less money to fund their activities.