Senator Cherargei launches scathing attack on Sports Ministry over 'unaccounted' athlete allowances

©Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei Facebook

Senator Cherargei launches scathing attack on Sports Ministry over 'unaccounted' athlete allowances

Festus Chuma 12:20 - 30.08.2023

Senator Cherargei criticizes CS Namwamba for athlete reception lapse and alleges unaccounted allowances, urges transparency in sports management.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei has launched a scathing attack on the Ministry of Sports, Youth, and the Arts, specifically targeting Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, for alleged mishandling of the national athletes' welfare. 

The senator claims that significant sums of money meant for athletes' allowances remain unaccounted for, raising serious questions about transparency and the treatment of the country's sports heroes.

The controversy stems from the recent return of Kenyan athletes from the World Athletics Championships held in Budapest, Hungary.

 Despite the remarkable achievements of the team, Senator Cherargei has expressed deep concerns about the manner in which the athletes were received and the alleged disparity in their compensation.

"The type of reception being accorded to them is still wanting. The CS himself did not show up to receive them and it is good to know their arrival was at night, and we know the CS is active more at night considering the number of events he attends,” he said on Tuesday. 

The most damaging allegation revolves around the unaccounted for allowances. Cherargei claims to have spoken with athletes who informed him that their daily allowances had been reduced from $300 to a mere $60.

 "Where is USD 240 (34,800/=)per day? For the 57 member team that’s equivalent to USD 1,3680 (1,983, 600/=) per day siphoned off from hard working athletes," he asserted in statement issued from Parliament grounds on Tuesday suggesting that over 27 million Kenyan shillings had been diverted from the athletes' rightful compensation.

 However, no concrete evidence has been presented to support these claims.

Cherargei questioned why Ministry and Athletics Kenya officials were flying in premium classes while athletes, including legend Faith Kipyegon, were relegated to economy. 

 “Why would a legend- Faith Kipyegon- and other athletes fly economy class whereas Ministry of sports and Athletics Kenya (AK) joyriders fly first and business class? Kitawaramba!”

The Senator even went so far as to suggest that some officials had brought their girlfriends on the trip.

Kenya's performance in the World Championships was notable, securing a first-place position in Africa with ten medals, though it ranked fifth globally.

 Many believe that the absence of some of Kenya's elite athletes, who were preparing for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, could have impacted the team's overall performance.