This post is little late, but be that as it may, here are a bunch of reflections on The Jubilee government’s fulfillment of the pledges it made towards sports in Kenya. On the whole this side of the government has been on the whole less controversy ridden than; say the laptops for class 1 pupils, or the standard gauge railway.
Also unlike in other sectors, many of the pledges actually depend on the competency of bodies that have some independence from government influence, so their success or failure, can not entirely be up to the Jubilee Government. Without much ado, here we go.
First and foremost, a recap of the pledges that Jubilee made on the campaign trail. I cannot claim to recall everything they pledged so I will focus on the flagship promises. These were: the pledge to construct 5 stadia all over the country, a promise to deliver the World Athletics Championships, the Africa Cup of Nations the restoration of the Safari Rally to the World Rally Circuit, and the pledge to build youth development centres in all counties
I’ll start with the pledge to bring all sorts of international competitions in various sports to Kenya. Right of the bat, Kenya’s bid to get the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations was virtually sunk by the Football Kenya Federation, not bothering to actually submit a bid until one month past the deadline.To save face, they went for and got right to host the 2018 CHAN event instead.
Now to actually put together a credible (and I do not mean we somehow survived to the end one piece credible) event. Also I am hoping they give the ‘Dick Berg type ‘sports event promoters’ a wide berth and give us an open, transparent show.
Off the football pitch, and on to the athletics track, it turns out, that you sort of have to build up towards hosting the IAAF’s flagship events (like the World Athletics Championships, by cutting your teeth with lesser events. Parable of the coins, he who was faithful with five dinarii shall be put in charge of 5 cities and all that.
So in keeping with that, Kenya will first aim to host the 2017 World Youth Championships. Nairobi’s competition will come from Buenos Aires, and Greensboro city in the USA, we hope the bidding team show some passion to convince the IAAF honchos to gives us the games.
As for the World Rally Championships, the Safari Rally was tossed out because of issues surrounding money guarantees, and tracks being properly closed off from wild animals, traffic etc) and so on. From the government side there has been very little noise, SO FAR, on the actualisation of a bid to restore the Safari rally and from the way the KNRC continues to face issues with stray traffic, pedestrians etc on its domestic rallies, it seems we still have work to do on that end also.
As for the pledge to construct 5 state-of-the-art stadia, there has been much more traction in this area. The sceptic in me would like clarification on just what ‘state-of-the-art’ is supposed to amount to. The most recent noise on that end has been the announcement by sports cabinet secretary Hassan Wario, that construction of these ‘state-of-the-art’ stadia will commence next year. Several County governments, both Jubilee and CORD controlled have done some renovations to their dilapidated municipal stadiums, so there is that
As for the youth centres, I’ll assume that they are also in the pipeline somewhere.
All in all, One year down the line and aside from the AFCON debacle, which with hindsight the sports ministry should have seen coming, its been steady as she goes. I would issue a grade but most of these pledges are mid to long term projects, which will take time to implement.