Sports Principal Secretary Jonathan, Mueke has said that the government is in the process of reviewing the existing cash reward scheme for Kenyan athletes.
Mr. Mueke noted that the rewarding formular for Kenyan athletes excelling at major world events is outdated and there is need for it to be reviewed. The scheme will be subjected to public participation before being adopted.
“We have a cash awards scheme that is almost complete,” said Mueke.
Benchmarking on what other countries has done, the task force hopes to come up with a better scheme that will help our athletes.
“Once we come up with a good draft, we will be seeking the indulgence of your committee, so that we can get the input of Parliament on this, and we can come up with a policy on cash awards for the men and women, who make our country proud globally by winning elite international competitions.”
Mr. Mueke had appeared before the Dan Wanyama-led Committee, alongside Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa to respond to questions over the spike of match fixing cases in the country.
With the current scheme, the government awards gold, Silver and bronze medalists with Sh 1 million, Sh 750,000 and sh 500,000 respectively.
The national team players are not well since it is the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) that sets the allowance rates.
Harambee Stars players are each paid a paltry Sh1,000 as daily allowance when they are in camp in the country as per the FKF president.
They receive $60 (Sh8085 as per the current exchange rate) each when they are outside the country.
The government had previously turned down FKF’s request for an increment of allowance paid to Harambee Stars players since the rates set by SRC cuts across all sports disciplines.
“I do agree though that they (allowances) are not attractive for our national team members, and something can be done to just give a little better allowance to them,” said Mueke, adding that the Ministry of Sports is keen to monetise sports talents through the Talanta Hela initiative.
He said that the government is overwhelmed thus it cannot pay players’ salaries. The PS said the Ministry of Sports is seeking to address the financial challenge that Kenyan teams are grappling with by introducing them to corporate sponsors, having fans back in stadiums to raise more funds through ticket sales and sponsors willing to come on board in their activities.
“Globally we are a sporting giant so we need to use this as a resource for our country. We must brand and package ourselves so that we have tourists coming from all over the world not just to see our wildlife but our sports museums, training centres and mingle with our sports heroes and heroines,” said Mueke.