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Sports ministry ought to follow Uhuru’s lead, deliver mandate

Thursday June 6 2019

Madaraka Day 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta greets the public upon arrival at Narok Stadium in Narok County for the 56th Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU 

BARNABAS KORIR
By BARNABAS KORIR
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The recent events and announcements within sporting circles by President Uhuru Kenyatta leave no doubt about his vision for the sector in the country.

Forget the past. In the last few days or rather month, there has been a lot of activities within the sports fraternity spearheaded by the President himself.

From Harambee Stars being given Sh244 million for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations to disbursement of over Sh181 million to Kenya’s elite athletes as compensation for the champions since 2010 - all indications of great things to come if the trend is maintained.

Besides, the President himself has given the Ministry of Sports a period of three months to come up with a compensation policy for athletes.

President Kenyatta also gave a directive to have all sportsmen going for international competitions to be fully catered for through the National Sports Fund before departure.

Last Friday, a total of 3,338 athletes received their cash awards for participating in 32 international sporting events covering the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and the World Under 18 and Under 20 junior competitions.

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He further gave the athletes an additional Sh4 million as token of appreciation besides the prize money drawn from the National Sports Fund. A fund chaired by a pair of trusted hands, Lt Gen. (retired) Jack Tuwei assisted by hawk eyed former Vice President Moody Awori.

Mr President, I guess this is the way to go but you will require a lot of support from the ministry in charge.

Of course, there has been a lot of positive energy since the current Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed arrived at the ministry and we hope things can only get better.

Of course, we all want a ministry that can think on it’s own and deliver on their mandate and not one that just waits on directives from the President.

What Uhuru has done in the past month should act as a catalyst to the ministry to get serious about delivery of their mandate. Sometimes it isn’t good to wait for directives to do your job because it reflects negatively.

But all said and done, Mohammed means well for sports and will equally need support from her ministry. At the moment a lot of things are lined up including the 2020 World Under-20 Championships, the 2019 African Games and the World Championships and we don’t always have to wait for the last minute to do what is right.

We need to set the pace for ourselves and make the President feel the difference after his recent directive. Directives shouldn’t be the way to work lest you are telling us someone has to remind us of our job for things to move.

But hey, so far so good and we look forward to a good sporting year.

Korir is the chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch. [email protected]

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