Thursday, 21 January 2010
Reading from the Press reports, initially I thought it was a joke but our Sports Stadia Management Board chair one Benjamin Sogomo ( guy always looks shifty from back in the days of the Kenyan education crises), confirmed my fears.
In a year when we shall witness a myriad of sporting activities across the continent and even expected to host some in our own backyard, the Board has decided to shut down the Kasarani complex for renovations. OK, there are some places that needed urgent works but that's why we needed to have planned for these like 2 years ago and sort this by last year.
With the 2010 World Cup coming, this would have been a perfect pitch for selling the venue to at least one or two qualified nations to use for their residential training before proceeding down South. Gold-mine !
There are also continental championships coming up such as the junior athletics and continental volleyball games in July & August and swimming championships in the last quarter of the year. What do they say? "...they will have to held elsewhere". I remember with bitterness how we missed out hosting the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (I'd a free 2-months planned for it only for the Kenyan government to claim 'they didn't have enough money to host it,losing out to eventual winners South Africa - the words of then Minister for Culture & Social Affairs one Maalim Mohammed still ring in my ears ****!!!!)
If we look at the other possibilities that we'd have to host any meaningful championships, they can't out-number the fingers of my hand...thanks again to our own internal wars in early 2008 (Afraha Stadium - Nakuru & Eldoret's Keino Stadium) and sheer neglect coupled with the grabbing culture (such as is at Ruringu Stadium -Nyeri)
Is it that we have such myopic leadership in some of these ministries or is just a Kenyan thing to shoot ourselves in the foot every so often? It really hurts to see some sports generate some positive light and make huge strides only for the Government-managed bodies to stifle these developments and stagger our progress. At this rate we should explore possibilities of privatising the Sports Stadia Management Board. Remember the Nyayo Stadium & Coca-Cola fiasco? All the more we should hasten this...