NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Jane Wacu’s much publicised transfer to Kenya Pipeline took a new twist after the Malkia Strikers setter returned back to her club, Kenya Prisons despite having an existing contract with the national champions.
Wacu signed a three-year contract with Pipeline which is understood to be Sh2.3 million early in March but she made a sudden about-turn to the side she joined 10 years ago from Pipeline.
On Thursday last week, Wacu turned up for training for the first time this month but went straight to Prisons camp after returning to Nairobi from Lodwar where she was shooting a reality TV show for a local channel.
The two teams are training at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani ahead of the Africa Club Championship set for early next month in Tunisia.
Despite penning a contract with Pipeline, Wacu is yet to finalise her move to Industrial Area from Nairobi West, the home ground of Prisons after failing to pick the transfer forms that would have cemented her move to Pipeline.
Capital Sports understand the thorny issue of the transfer is the ‘contract’ bit. Unlike Prisons who gives permanent employment to their players, most Pipeline players are on a contract engagement with club sponsor, Kenya Pipeline Corporation, something which Wacu is said to be uncomfortable with.
It is reported that Wacu held a meeting with Kenya Prisons Service Commander, Issiah Osugo last week-who advised her not to move to Pipeline unless they provide her with a permanent job. It is believed that the advice of her boss could have persuaded her to change her mind, on the last minute.
But a source from Pipeline rubbished the claims saying that Wacu knew exactly what she was getting into before she signed the contract.
“We didn’t go for her. She applied to join us and because we were in need of a setter, we decided to absorb her,” revealed a source from Pipeline who talked to us in confidence.
Wacu’s name is conspicuously missing from the Pipeline 14-member list sent to Confederation of Africa de Volleyball ahead of next week games.
The issue has created some friction between the two top clubs in the country with Pipeline now blaming Prisons management for standing on Wacu’s way, further accusing them of using monkey tactics to scuffle the move.
“I know she has been threatened with a jail term should she leave. It is pure sabotage,” said our source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
But Prisons head coach David Lung’aho accused Pipeline of failing to follow the due process in their attempt to snatch Kenya’s top setter.
“They (Pipeline) did not engage us. We only learnt of the transfers through the media. We still consider her our player,” said Lungaho.
In a quick rejoinder, Pipeline watered down the claims saying that they followed the law. Last week, representatives from both clubs were supposed to hold a joint meeting to resolve the impasse but the meeting did not materialise.
“There is no law which states that we should involve the other club. Ours is to negotiate with the player then pay transfer fee to the Kenya Volleyball Federation and it is up to the federation to pass a certain percentage of the signing fee to the losing club. There is nowhere in that law that requires the receiving club to talk with the other club. What are we to talk about?”
But sources very close to Wacu confided to Capital Sport that Prisons management refused to sign the papers to Wacu.
“She took the papers to her bosses last week but they refused to sign saying she should never leave a permanent job for contract. This thing is complicated,” said the source.
Prisons are yet to send the names of the 14 players to CAVB and it remains to be seen whether they will include her in the traveling squad.
-By Elvince Joshua-