NAIROBI, December 2- Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Hassan Wario, has urged delegates in the forthcoming football polls that will now start at the sub branch level on Friday to vote out all leaders who have let the country’s football down.
The Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture boss who retained his docket at last week’s Cabinet reshuffle, also blamed Football Kenya Federation (FKF) for the allowances saga that has plagued Harambee Stars in recent weeks.
Wario was speaking at the half-time break of Tuesday’s Cecafa quarterfinal defeat to Rwanda with the FKF Electoral Board announcing late Tuesday the postponement of sub-branch elections to Friday with the dates for the branch (December 10) and national (December 14) remaining unchanged.
FKF pointed fingers at the ministry for refusing to release money to pay Stars players and the chartered flight ahead of their 22-hour trip to Cape Verde for a 2018 World Cup qualifier with another pay dispute erupting in Ethiopia where Kenya’s Cecafa defence ended in a 5-3 loss on post-match penalties to the Rwandese Wasps on Tuesday.
“Complete lies. Cabinet Secretary was there with the team when they were flying out. I was there through my PS, he sent money Sh3.5m. We have never let the team down at any time,” Wario said on SuperSport who were showing the match live on the federation’s claims his ministry was responsible for the delay that saw Stars players initially refuse to go to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to board their flight to Praia.
The team eventually checked in ten hours later after the minister was forced to rush to the airport to plead with them and diffuse the row that saw charter company, Skylink decline their equipment to take to the skies until they were fully paid.
“We never let them down, they were let down by FKF. FKF should do the decent thing, let us vote out the people who are letting them down,” the Minister added.
Wario travelled to Ethiopia and watched the team crash out of the competition after reports of another pay protest and unrest in the camp gained currency over the weekend as he sought to clarify why it took him so long to link up with the team.
“I was very busy with athletics, anti-doping issues; so I had to go to Paris, we really had to go and campaign so that Kenya does not get banned from athletics,” he explained.
“Arising on the need to hold free, fair, and credible elections, the Electoral Board has decided to postpone the Sub Branch Elections from Monday 30th November 2015 to Friday 4th December 2015.
“Other Elections of the Branch and National Elections remains the same on 7th December 2015 and 14th December 2015 respectively. We regret any inconveniences caused to the candidates and the voters,” a notice signed by Electoral Board chairman, Donald Kipkorir, read in announcing the latest deferment.
“The Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) shall conduct the upcoming FKF National, Branch and Sub- Branch elections as an Electoral Bureau,” it added.
Incumbent FKF boss, Sam Nyamweya, is facing five other contenders for the top job and despite the stinging criticism he has faced, is confident of securing another four year mandate.