Kioni takes on Govt after Malkia’s troubles in Kampala

The Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) president Waithaka Kioni has thrown doubt on the Government’s pledge to support all national teams after familiar woes befell the Kenyan team in Uganda.

KVF was forced to use its own coffers to bail out the national women’s team after it had been held hostage in Kampala over unpaid hotel bills in excess of KSh1 million.

Kioni said the team left the country without any sort of Government funding and the KVF boss now wants proper funding prior to all competitions to avoid such ’embarrassments’ in the future.

In March 10 during the Beyond Zero Half Marathon held at the refurbished Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, President Kenyatta assured athletes that the government would fund all national teams.

Despite their off-court misery, the nine-time African Nations Championship winners went ahead to clinch the single Zone Five All African Games ticket in the qualifiers held at the Lugogo Indoor Arena in Uganda early this week.

“We had to find our means to help the team not to experience any disappointments in Uganda because they had done us proud. Going forward the ministry should fund national teams early enough to avoid embarrassment in foreign countries,” Kioni told Citizen Digital.

He said although the Government has approved the budget days after the competition, he said it should be done prior to any competition.

“The sports ministry has told us our budget has been approved and this is big reprieve but wait for how long are we going to operate on bills?” he asked.

‘Sports Fund is Functional’

In his response, Sports Fund chairman Lieutenant General (RTD) Jackson Tuwei who is also the Athletics Kenya boss absolved himself of any blame saying he had not seen Malkia Strikers’ proposal before the competition served off.

Tuwei added that all sports federations should fully comply with the Sports Act to avoid any consequences as advised by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed when she met federation officials at Kasarani Stadium early this month.

“Sports Fund is functional for all the national teams but federations should comply with the laid guidelines as per the Sports Act to benefit fully,” he averred.

Malkia’s predicament comes barely a month after the Kenya Paralympics team that took part in the fourth International Athletics Meeting held in Morocco last month got stranded at a Nairobi hotel after the government had failed to remit their allowances despite the team bagging a total of 42 medals ( 11 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze).

Meanwhile, Malkia Strikers’ Africa Nations Championship preparations started in earnest at the Kasarani Indoor Arena a day after the squad jetted back from Uganda on Tuesday.

The nine-time Africa champions will be eyeing to reclaim the Africa Nations title after losing 3-1 in 2017 against current holders Cameroon in Younde.

The biennial competition will serve off from July 5-15 in Cairo Egypt then after that Malkia will head to Italy for the Olympic Games Qualifiers penciled for August 2-4 before flying to Morocco to defend their All African Games gong later in August.

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