NAIROBI, Kenya, March 2 – National women’s volleyball setter Jane Wacu has changed allegiance after penning Sh2.3 million -three year contract with Kenya Pipeline to force away from Kenya Prison.
Wacu, currently Kenya’s best setter signed the deal Thursday with the reigning national champions, a shock move that will render her former club a big blow ahead of the new season of the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) that is set to serve off on Friday in Nyeri, her home county.
Both Pipeline and Prisons are preparing the annual Africa Club Championship to be staged next month in Tunisia.
Her move away from Prisons brings to three, the number of senior setters who left the club this year. First to move was Salome Wanjala who joined KCB followed by Florence Bosire who moved to Nairobi Water after being sidelined for four good years with limited playing time.
“It’s all about change. I have been at Prisons for 10 years and I want to thank the management for the opportunity and support they gave me but it’s now time to move,” Wacu said.
Wacu was included in the Prisons squad that travelled to Nyeri on Thursday but she failed to show up at the pick-up point at Prisons Headquarters.
At the very moment, the player who dumped Pipeline in 2007 for Prisons was deeply involved in negotiation with top management of Kenya Pipeline which saw her sign with rivals Pipeline to return where she began her volleyball career after completing her secondary school at Tetu High School.
Pipeline has been seducing Wacu, seen as the perfect long term replacement for Janet Wanja since October last year. Wanja fired yet another warning shot to her employers that she will be hanging her sneakers at the end of the season hence the need to fill the void early enough.
The deal which was penned two days after the close of KVF transfer window however complicates things – Its is not yet clear whether she will be allowed to turn up for her new club or if the contract allows her to continue playing for Kenya Prisons for the rest of the season.
The deal almost fell off Pipeline’s hands after they tabled a ‘contract’ and not a permanent job as demanded by Wacu but they managed to convince her to move base from Kenya Prisons Training College to Pipeline.
The finer details of the contract were not made clear but Pipeline is understood to have doubled her salary, in addition to a free house and a ‘good’ medical cover, with a promise of a permanent job within five months, according to a sources within Pipeline.
“She will be employed with four others immediately after club championship,” our source added.
Prisons team manager David Kilundo had insisted that that they are not ready to lose their prized asset. “We cannot allow our top players to join local rivals. The only thing we can do is maybe to release them to play abroad but not locally,” Kilundo was heard saying.
But Wacu, a senior sergeant at Kenya Prisons Service turned her back against her employer, when she dropped the gun for a sweet deal away to Pipeline, a move that may see even further disintegration at the Prisons camp.
Wacu joined Prisons in 2007 from Pipeline who are yet to win a Africa Club championship title since 2001 and her presence in the squad will greatly boost their chances of winning their first continental title in over 10 years when they parade in Tunisia next month.
Pipeline has lost in the last two finals of the Africa Club Championships and coach Japheth Munala appetite for a maiden World club Championship appearance will be boosted with the new catch for the reigning Kenya Volleyball Federation champions.
Early this year, Pipeline players, majority who have won three titles in a raw (2014,2015, 2016) passionately appealed to the management to give them permanent jobs but the company’s head of corporate communication, Jason Nyantino in a quick rejoinder told them to ‘look for papers’ first before asking for employment.
But a source within the top management of the company has since disclosed to Capital Sport that top hierarchy have since released employment letters of at least four players to be confirmed in five month’s time. Wacu will be among the list.
-By Elvince Joshua for Capital Sport-