NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday afternoon nominated Rashid Achesa Mohammed as the new cabinet Secretary for Sports, replacing Hassan Wario who has since been nominated as Kenya’s ambassador to Austria.
The ministry has also rebranded and will be known as the Ministry of Sports and Heritage with Peter Kaberia retaining his post as Principal Secretary for Sports. Previously, it had been known as the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture.
Mohammed, a former ODM Youth Wing leader in Western Kenya is a newcomer to public administration and attempted to vie for the Mumias West Parliamentary seat in the last General Election but pulled out according to reports.
There had been public outcry over Wario’s tenure at the helm of the ministry especially in the wake of Team Kenya’s mismanagement at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Wario had been put under pressure especially with his ministry being heavily named in the probe to who exactly bungled Kenya’s administration in the Olympics.
More recently, the outgoing Cabinet Secretary was at the centre of a storm following the Confederation of African Football’s decision to strip Kenya off the rights of the ongoing African nations Championship (CHAN) which was then moved to Morocco.
He had shied off from public appearances except when the top bosses have been around.
He was spotted publicly wearing his hat of CS during the CECAFA Senior Challenge final in Machakos, the Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Awards and lately the launch of the 50th Barclays Kenya Open Golf Tournament.
All these functions were attended by Deputy President William Ruto.
Most of the other duties and public appearances for the ministry had been undertaken by his PS Ambassador Kaberia who joined the ministry in June last year.
Kaberia met with CAF officials on their final tour of the with Wario missing and was at the firing end as he tried to explain why Kenya was stripped off CHAN hosting rights a few weeks later.
The new boss takes up the ministry headquartered at Kencom House with a plate full, biggest on his in-tray being the financing of Sports Federations and national teams which have been affected by the pull-out of sponsors.