Malkia Strikers run into hotel trouble in Kampala


Kenya's Malkia Strikers celebrate their historic 3-0 wn over Kazakhstan at the FIVB World Championships ...
Kenya's Malkia Strikers celebrate their historic 3-0 wn over Kazakhstan at the FIVB World Championships in Japan. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • The national women's volleyball team Malkia Strikers is fretting about the possibility of being held hostage in Kampala over unpaid hotel bills amounting to well over KSh1 million
  • The Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) first vice-president Charles Nyaberi said the hotel management threatened to confiscate the passports of the entire contingent, rendering them virtual prisoners

The national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers is fretting about the possibility of being held hostage in Kampala over unpaid hotel bills amounting to well over KSh1 million.

The Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) first vice-president Charles Nyaberi said the hotel management threatened to confiscate the passports of the entire contingent, rendering them virtual prisoners.

The Kenyans continue their Zone Five All African Games qualifiers on Tuesday at the Lugogo Indoor Arena in the Ugandan capital but their attention could be driven off court if the issue is not addressed.

It could be a repeat of a similar saga that affected the Kenya Prisons team last month in Cairo where they were held hostage before the Government ordered for their repatriation.

Malkia Strikers, the four-time All African Games champions are poised to clinch the single ticket that will guarantee them qualification to the continental championship set for Morocco in August if they beat Uganda this evening.

“The ministry officials told us they will meet today (Tuesday) and we’re just waiting to see if they will clear the bills because the hotel’s management has warned us that they will not allow us leave the hotel without paying our bills.

“We just hope the officials will walk the talk and find a solution because this competition ends today and we have not paid any coin,” Nyaberi said.

He claimed that the team left the country without any funding from the government as top ministry officials were unavailable to approve the money needed for the players’ upkeep in Kampala by the time they were departing the country on Saturday morning last week.

Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and her Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia were last week out of the country, with the latter in Japan while Amina had travelled to Canada for the ongoing anti-doping conference.

“The ministry only paid air tickets and I can confirm no single player or official has received any allowance for this tournament and also for the two weeks we were camping at Kasarani and we hope this will be sorted out. We are doing well regardless of this issue and I hope the players will be respected for keeping Kenyan flag high,” he added.

In the tournament which is being played in a round-robin format, Kenya has won her first two matches both by straight sets; against Rwanda and Ethiopia and will be out to complete the fine run against hosts Uganda from 8pm this evening.

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).

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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