Covid-19: Machakos referees opt for menial jobs, pulling carts for survival
- Musyoki hit out at the government for leaving out referees from the stimulus package launched in March to bail out vulnerable sportsmen in the country.
A section of Machakos football referees have urged the government to include them in the ongoing financial aid programme aimed at cushioning sportsmen in the country from the effects of coronavirus.
According to Zuberi Musyoki, a local referee, the continued ban on sports activities since March has forced a majority of them to turn to menial jobs like pulling carts to eke out a living.
Musyoki hit out at the government for leaving out referees from the stimulus package launched in March to bail out vulnerable sportsmen in the country.
Some of the beneficiaries of the programme have been athletes and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) footballers.
“Referees in the country are among the worst hit by this pandemic but we are forgotten. We have seen the government give out support to athletes and even artistes, we should be considered because we are also part of the family of Ministry of Sports.
“I have my colleagues in Machakos who are now depending on pushing carts to make ends meet because it is very tough during this period. We urge well wishers to also come on board and help us,” he decried.
In May, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed announced that the government would dish out Sh20 million in a stimulus package to bail out vulnerable sportsmen and women in the country for a period of three months.
Sports activities remain largely suspended locally and internationally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left more than 650,000 people dead globally, including 382 people in Kenya.
Many people have also been rendered jobless, including those who get their daily bread from sports.
“We also urge counties through their respective ministries of sports to support sports men and women in the local areas. Sports is devolved and this is the time counties should be also showing concern on how athletes are surviving,” he added.
However, Sports Fund chairman Jackson Tuwei had warned that not every athlete will benefit from State funding.
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