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Minister sanctioned over Oliech saga

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2- Kenya’s Sports Minister Dr. Paul Otuoma has been barred from conducting any business in the country’s parliament until he responds to the decision by Harambee Stars captain Denis Oliech to quit the team.

Temporary speaker, Gitobu Imanyara gave the orders after Otuoma failed to show up to respond to a question on the matter by Eldoret South MP Peris Simam this morning.

“In accordance to the standing orders, the minister will not be permitted to transact any further business in this house until he has given a satisfactory explanation to the speaker and the speaker has accepted it,” Imanyara stated in his ruling as he deferred the question.

Simam had sought to establish from the minister whether it was true that Oliech “resigned from the national team, Harambee Stars, due to the use of his image without financial gain made to him.”

The France based striker announced his intention to retire from the national side last month after Stars’ sponsors, East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) used his image in a billboard without consulting him.

So far intervention by Football Kenya Federation and world governing body Fifa has failed to resolve the issue that leaves the country sweating about embarking in their 2014 World Cup and 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers without their leading scorer.

Head coach Francis Kimanzi announced on Tuesday that Oliech was still in his plans for the World Cup qualifier against Malawi on June 2 and the return leg of their Nations Cup knock-out match against Togo on June 15.

Simam also queried the Sports Minister on what measures will the he take to ensure that sportsmen such as Oliech and Olympics champion Pamela Jelimo whose images are used by such companies in advertisements are paid.

Contributing to the debate, Lari MP, David Njuguna stated, “It is critical on this question because Oliech has caused major concern in this country by declining to participate in (national team) matches and therefore, it is important to sanction the minister.”

Mosop MP, Dr. Davy Koech, added, “This year is an Olympics year and private companies keep making use of making our athletes names to advertise without any due to them. This question should not be dropped and the minister should be named for not coming to answer the question.”

Imanyara further directed the question to be slotted back in the order paper.

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