The government has faulted the management of Team Kenya for the Africa Games for accommodating teams outside the designated Government-owned facilities near the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed was categorical that the Steering Committee had resolved that Stadion Hotel, Kasarani, Utalii Hotel, Kenya School of Monetary Studies and Kenyatta University were the approved facilities for teams preparing for the Games.
In a statement after a lengthy meeting at her office at Kencom House on Wednesday, Mohammed explained that the directive on accommodation was issued to primarily guarantee the safety, security and comfort of the athletes as well as reinforce compliance with public procurement processes.
The meeting was convened after athletics and women’s volleyball teams were kicked out but accommodated back at The Luke Hotel after the team management failed to settle their bills.
The teams have been residing at the hotel since Monday last week for residential training for the Games that starts August 16-31 in Rabat, Morocco.
“The capacity of these facilities is sufficient to fully accommodate all the teams and accompanying officials,” said Mohammed adding that it is unfortunate that some athletes were, without consultation, booked at a hotel outside these designated facilities. However, Mohammed said the ministry immediately arrested the situation and ensured that the affected teams were accommodated and will gradually be transferred to join the rest who are already in approved facilities.
Mohammed said that her ministry remains committed to the well-being of all athletes and will ensure that their safety, security and comfort is not compromised.
“All those involved in the preparation of these Games and other international sporting events must uphold the greatest standard of integrity and to consult at all times,” said Mohammed.
Mohammed noted that she has been assured that all teams participating in the Games are ready for the championships and that they are fully facilitated and will be treated with utmost primacy during this and future events.
“I wish all the team success as they defend Kenya’s position as the top sporting nation in Africa and a global giant,” said Mohammed adding that the ministry is working on a series of initiatives to reorganise the entire outlay of sports management, including financing to foster growth and progression of sports and sporting facilities in Kenya.
A total of 234 athletes representing 22 disciplines have been approved to participate in the competitions of which, 17 of these disciplines will serve as Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers. A budget of Sh335,773,111 has been set aside to cater for all expenses pertaining to the Games was approved by the Sports Fund Oversight Board.
This amount will cater for athletes’ local allowances, residential training, air tickets, overseas allowances and accommodation among other expenses.
Mohammed said that travel preparations are now complete. The first batch of athletes left for Morocco Tuesday and will commence competitions on Friday.
The second batch left on Wednesday with the third batch leaving on Thursday followed by the next on Saturday. The final group comprising athletics leaves on Friday next week.