The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) and Mwamba Rugby club, the organisers of the Stanbic Bank Kabeberi Sevens, are at loggerheads after the Union fined the club Sh1 million for staging this year’s tournament in Meru.
In a letter to Mwamba president Alvas Onguru and chairman George Mbaye, KRU chief executive officer Sylvia Kamau said that Mwamba will provide a subsidy for clubs due to the last minute change of venue from Nairobi to Meru Kinoru Stadium.
Kamau indicated in a letter dated July 26 this year and availed to Nation Sport that the Union’s Board resolved that the 20 teams that took part at Kabeberi Sevens last weekend will each get Sh50,000.
However, Onguru dismissed the Union’s allegations and directive saying they have no money to share with clubs or the Union adding that at no time did they indicate that Kabeberi Sevens would be held in Nairobi.
“We communicated about the Meru venue two months ago after we entered into a partnership with Meru County government hence the issue of change of venue doesn’t arise since Nairobi was not in our plan,” said Onguru adding that there are no rules or laws governing change of venues or time length required.
Onguru took issue with the Union’s board accusing it of playing politics at the expense of the game’s development.
“Clubs are using these events to raise money for the upkeep and in fact, it’s the Union that should source for sponsorship to subsidise clubs,” said Onguru explaining that this year’s Kabeberi Sevens was unveiled in Meru in full view of the Union.
“We are not obligated to share any money with clubs or the Union and if there is then it’s for our use.”
“As per the telephone conversation with Alvas Onguru, this e-mail is to inform Mwamba RFC that following a board resolution, KRU will require Mwamba RFC to provide a subsidy for clubs due to last minute change of venue from Nairobi to Meru Kinoru Stadium,” said Kamau.
“Following numerous conversations and meetings held with your club and the fixtures committee this position has always been reiterated on,” the letter explained.
Kamau noted that previously, in instances where the tournament was moved on short notice, a subsidy has been provided to enable teams work within their budgets without straining.
“We had Homeboyz paying subsidies to clubs last year after they moved Sepetuka Sevens from Ngong to Eldoret at the last minute,” said Kamau further in a telephone interview.
“Nevertheless, there is still room for more discussions with Mwamba.”
Clubs like Mwamba use the events in the Stanbic Bank National Sevens Series to raise funds for their upkeep through the season.