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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya sports minister pledges to weed out corrupt cartels 

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s new sports cabinet secretary Rashid Achesa has warned it will not be business as usual for cartels that bedevil the industry.

Achesa replaced Hassan Wario, who was handed a diplomatic job as Kenya’s ambassador to Austria, and will have his in-tray full starting with the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, where he will lead the country’s delegation, eyeing to improve on their last haul of 25-10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze medals.

“It’s with joy that I take over this position. I want to let the cartels in this industry to know that I am after them. This is an official notice. Any cartels that are involved in sport and any official implicated in unscrupulous deals should start praying that I don’t catch up with them,” Achesa said Tuesday in Nairobi.

The outgoing Cabinet Secretary Wario has his tenure tainted with lack of stewardship especially at the Rio Olympics, where Kenya athletes were involved in scandal that saw many miss accommodation and competition kits despite this having been factored in the budget.

Achesa promised better times for sports in the country, saying as a former boxer, the welfare of sportspeople was important to him.

“Sports is no longer a pass time, but a thriving industry that can be a source of livelihood to many,” he added.

Many have given thumbs down sign over his appointment owing to his limited education, but Achesa will have the time to prove them wrong.

Of immediate challenge to him to find a lasting solution to convince more sponsors to put their money in the industry, especially after the government increased tax to 35 per cent to all proceeds from betting companies, which prompted betting giant firm SportsPesa to terminate its contract with Rugby Sevens, Harambee Stars and several football clubs.

At the moment, the government has taken over the role of funding this clubs and national team. 

           

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