Agony as Ministry, athletes shift blame over pay

Members of Team Kenya for Rio Paralympics sit in protest during the appeal to have ...

A stand-off between a section Team Kenya to the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics Games who are yet to receive monies owed and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts is brewing way past the deadline given by President Uhuru Kenyatta to have their dues paid in full.

Six athletes and an official of the Paralympics team are yet to receive their monies a fortnight after President Uhuru directed the Ministry to clear any outstanding payment accruing under the Government reward scheme when he hosted them at State House Nairobi for their exploits in Brazil.

The stalemate has left the Rio stars irritated, with some questioning the motive behind the delays by Ministry officials to delay their rewards.

“I have made several visits to the accounts office and none of those has borne fruit. They have been singing the same tired song that we gave wrong bank details and sometimes claim they’ve already sent the money. The said amount is yet to reflect in our accounts,” two-time Olympics gold medalist and captain for the Paralympics team Samuel Muchai told Citizen Digital.

“It’s very disheartening to be treated like this without any consideration or appreciation,” Muchai – who brought home the 1500m and 5000m T11 gold medals – added.

His Rio Olympics counterpart and 2012 Boston Marathon Champion, Wesley Korir echoed Muchai’s words while blaming the ministry of negligence.

“The Ministry is just lying. They have sang the same song of wrong accounts details since the heat started. How comes we received some of the money and now they are saying we are giving them wrong accounts. They should pay us our money and get serious. It’s tiring to listen to the same song,” the Cherangany MP complained.

When contacted Aaron Komen, Director of Administration at the Department of Sports contradicted himself over the number of athletes who have not been paid what has not been paid.

“I will follow up with the accounts department and make sure they have been paid on Friday. Their federation bosses should follow up and make sure that the athletes gave the correct bank details,” Komen told.

Boxing federation Chairman David Kameta dismissed Komen’s explanation, saying it was high time the Ministry took responsibility for the impasse.

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