Youth Affairs, Sports and the Art Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has promised to improve the welfare of Kenya Rugby Team players.
Namwamba assured the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) of government’s support adding that player welfare must become a top priority for the Kenya Rugby Union.
The CS called for respect of player contracts adding that payment of player salaries and allowances must take precedence over everything else.
“You cannot run a system where a player has got no certainty over their contractual position that you contract a player today and the contract can be ripped up tomorrow,” said Namwamba.
He asked KRU leadership to bring audited accounts of the team’s spending to his office adding that its leadership must be accountable and transparent.
The CS further called on sponsors to support KRU and asked the union to convene sponsors roundtable.
“I have promised the union to convene a sponsors’ roundtable and I will host the roundtable so that we can get sponsorship back into rugby and I want to invite sponsors to get back into rugby big-time,” said Namwamba.
Namwamba asked the union to bring their requests to government for support in time.
“We have set a requirement, bring your requests at least six months to events, you have the calendar of events in advance, let us discuss on how to support events in advance,” said Namwamba.
The CS assured Shujaa team that is out for tournament in Dubai of immediate support saying that it is unacceptable to let teams fly the national flag on empty stomach.
“Our Shujaa team travelled to Dubai on empty stomachs, we are going to make available allowances immediately while they are in Dubai so that they can be able to represent the country well in Dubai and thereafter in Qatar,” he said.
He made a commitment to support the rugby women’s team ahead of their tournament in Dubai adding that rugby will not be managed by crisis again.
“I have given a commitment that we will send the women team to Dubai to fulfil their commitment in these games, we will support their travel and allowances to,” said Namwamba.
KRU chairman Oduor Gangla thanked the CS for his commitment to change rugby in Kenya. He apologized to the rugby teams for the challenges faced in the past months.
“We have been doing our activities at the expense of players and have been punching beyond our weight to reach where we are today,” said Gangla.
The chairman assured firm commitment to ensure that they are fully accountable adding that KRU is looking at ways to structure their commercial assets. “KRU is in the journey to raise new capital through a commercial vehicle to ensure that we address that issue sustainably,” said Gangla.
“We want to increase our aggression and positioning with the help of CS Namwamba,” said Gangla.