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Sports Funding Crisis: Has Kaberia not been “Kickbacked”

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You don’t have to look far to find a corruption scandal in the news in Kenya – arrests, probes, kickbacks, and billion-dollar embezzlements all make the headlines regularly.

All eyes on the sports funding crisis have been trained on the Sports Ministry Principle Secretary Peter Kirimi Kaberia aka PKK.

At this juncture in regard to the crisis occasioned by the PS does coincidentally the initials of his name PKK tend to mean or suggest “Pokea Kitu Kidogo”.

Does it mean that the federations that have adversely mentioned his name have not been able not to keep their part of the bargain or are not willing to PKK.

The current sports funding crisis in Kenya is similar to when telecommunications company Safaricom cancelled an age group tournament Sakata Ball.

On May 30th, 2012, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore walked out of the boardroom at the telecomunication’s company headquarters and declared that they had cancelled the Sakata Ball tournament.

Collymore cancelled the tournament after Safaricom who are the sponsors of the tournament and the local soccer governing body Football Kenya Federation (FKF) failed to agree on FKF’s demands for a 20% Commission from the entire sponsorship as “administration fees”.

According to Safaricom, FKF demanded to be paid 20% of the total sponsorship cost of the Sakata Ball tournament as administration fees half of which amounting to Ksh25 million was to be paid prior to its launch, failure to which FKF would disown the event.

Safaricom explained that they had no option but to cancel the tournament since they would not be able to meet the demands.

Chairman Sam Nyamweya who had just taken over said that no tournaments in the country would take place without FKF’s nod and anyone willing to run any tournament would have to pay up a fee, though there was no mention of a specific percentage then.

The ministry through the PS has become a micromanager of the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund instead of focusing on policy. Why should the fund have a CEO who can’t give out money?

The PS seems to be abusing those powers with impunity and as such it seems the federations need to dance to his tune to get funded.

Currently several federations are complaining of Kaberia being a stumbling block in their endevour to get funding from the government.

The office of the Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has distanced itself from the funding issue saying the buck stops in the PS’s office.

That leaves a lot to be desired as one would wonder why the PS is not okaying the release the funds and keeping mum despite receiving reminders from the concerned federations.

That is more than meets the eye to arouse suspicions and most likely it seems that that they federations are not ready to scratch the back of government accounting officer to append his signature.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) was the first break the silence over their frustrations in getting funding after the Sports ministry went silent on their budget proposal for the national women’s football team Harambee Starlets preparations for the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.

This was after two weeks where national netball team was left forlorn in the streets of Cape Town without accommodation in South Africa, participating in the Africa Championships.

What the federations are not coming out clear is their backroom discussions with the PS when seeking for funds and what has led to the money being withheld.

The Kenya Rugby Union Vice Chairman Thomas Opiyo claimed despite their budget proposal being approved Kaberia has stopped in the way to their funding by the National Sports Fund.

Opiyo said the Sports Fund had approved their budget proposal for this season but unfortunately the cash is not being released and nobody is giving the union a feedback on the status of funding.

Opiyo said they have only received Sh3 million from 194 million earmarked for the national squads including the Kenya 15s, Kenya Sevens, Under20 and Lionesses.

AK vice-president Paul Mutwii revealed that the ministry had failed to give AK Sh17 million for the Doha World Athletics championship that took place last month.

The PS has now resorted to diversionary tactics and intimidation after summoning the FKF top brass on November 11th for an audit of the Sh244 million fuinding the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.

This is four months after the federation submitted their report accounting for the money it received from the National Sports Fund.

As much as the government has good intentions in making federations accountable for funds it receives from the exchequer but the begging question is why after a long period and after its at crossroads with a federation demanding for its rightful share.

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Sports

Fraud: Former FKF Boss Asembo faces Arrest

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A Nairobi court has issued an arrest warrant against former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Vice President Robert Asembo for defying court orders.
Sitting at the Kibera Law Courts, Chief Magistrate Joyce Gandana issued the orders after Asembo failed to appear before the court to face criminal charges.
Asembo has been charged for defrauding a Chinese national and investor in the pretext of selling her a piece of land.
In the charge sheet, it is alleged that between September 2nd, 2016 and March 31st, 2017, Asembo obtained Ksh2.5 million from Tai Sujun by falsely pretending that he was in a position to sell her a piece of land at Eastern bypass measuring 0.7616 hactres, while knowingly knowing it was not true.
Asembo who is out on a Sh100,000 cash bail was to appear before the court on Thursday, November 14 but failed to appear.
Consequently, the Chief Magistrate ordered for Asembo’s arrest after failing to present himself to face the charges preferred against him.
However, Gandana set November 29 as the date for the case’s mention.
Asembo a lawyer by profession has served as a sports administrator in various capabilities.
At the moment he is a member of the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) serving since 2016.
He served for one term as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants AFC Leopards before joining FKF as the Nairobi region National Executive Committee (NEC) representative in 2011.
Asembo was later  elevated to serve as the federation’s Vice President to replace Kenya’s ex international Sammy Sholei under the Sam Nyamweya led administration.

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Former KPL Clubs play to draws in Betika Midweek Fixtures

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Former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) teams fought to draws in the Betika Super League (BSL) midweek matches.

It was a baptism fire for the former KPL teams and a taste of the league’s toughness with the entry of new National Super League sponsors Betika.

In the highlight of match the midweek fixures Nairobi City Stars and Ushuru settled for a barren draw at the Hope Centre in Kawangware, Nairobi.

The stalemate preserved Nairobi City Stars unbeaten run this season to remain as the only team in the league not to have lost so far.

Another former top flight league club Shabana fought to 2-2 tie away to AP’s Bomet.

Kenya Police formerly Red Berets when participating in the KPL league were held to a 1-1 draw by Vihiga Bullets.

Mount Kenya United formerly Nakumatt which was relegated from the KPL last season played to a 2-2 against St Joseph’s youth.

Administration Police (AP) was the only team that has featured at top flight level that lost after succumbing to 3-2 home loss to Fortune Sacco.

The midweek matches were the first matches, 24 hours after the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) inked a three year deal worth Sh90 million for the National Super League with gaming firm Betika.

“We can assure you that the league will be tough, competitive and entertaining with this sponsorship as an incentive,” remarked Betika Head of Commercial John Mbatia during the sponsorship signing ceremony.

Collated Midweek Betika Super League Round 14 Results:

Kenya Police 1 Vihiga Bullets 1

APS Bomet 2 Shabana 2

Nairobi Stima 0 Kibera Black Stars 0

Administration Police 2
Fortune Sacco 3

Nairobi City Stars 0
Ushuru 0

Muranga Seal 1 Talanta 0

Modern Coast Rangers 1
Migori Youth 0

St. Joseph’s Youth 2
Mt. Kenya United 2

Coast Stima 3
Bidco United 2

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City Stars Pioneer as the Betika Super League Leaders

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The 2006 President’s (Football Association ) Cup champions Nairobi City set the pace as the Betika Super League pioneering leaders despite drawing.

Nairobi City Stars formerly World Hope were held to a barren draw by fellow former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Ushuru in a midweek Super league clash who j were the first matches under the sponsorship of betting firm Betika.

The draw maintained Nairobi City Stars lead and unbeaten run streak of the 2019/20 Betika Super League (BSP) season.

Nairobi City Stars are at the summit of the league standings with 36 points as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) side Ushuru FC remained at number six with 21 points.

Second placed Nairobi Stima failed to close the gap on their fellow city based club after fighting to a goalles draw against Kibera Black Stars in Naivasha to stay in second spot, six points adrift the league leaders.

Bidco failed to capitalize on Nairobi Stima’s draw to jump into second place by succumbing into a 3-2 loss away against Modern Coast in Mombasa.

Despite the loss Bidco’s third place slot was not threatened as they were not dislodged thanks to Vihiga United not having a midweek fixture.

Vihiga United which joined the Super League this season after being relegated from KPL share the same number of points at 28 with a game in hand but dwarfed on an inferior goal difference by Bidco.

Irrespective of their win Modern Coast are still in the basement of the standings with 12 points to be placed in 17th spot.

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