Ever given your best to something only to later end up being discredited and in fact humiliated? Well, this is what happened to Kenya’s national amputee team.
The team basically had to go through a day-long strike after the government did not honour it’s pledge of paying their allowances.
The squad of 15 players and four officials was awaiting payment of their allowances totalling Sh2 million from the government. However, neither Sports CS Rashid Echesa nor his PS Kirimi Kaberia or any official from the Ministry for that matter was there to address their concerns.
Most of them had not eaten anything since arriving in the country from Guadalajara, Mexico City, in a trip punctuated by a 21-hour delay owing to a mix up in the booking of flights by the government.
“Having achieved position 12 in the world and second position in Africa and having come in the morning the reception was bad because we were not allowed to access the Ministry of Sports headquarters.When we were in Mexico we were representing the whole country and singing the national anthem,” said a pained team captain Dalmas Otieno.
It seems like their strike actually bore fruits after they came to an agreement with the government to have their allowances paid by next week.
According to the Kenya Amputee Federation treasurer Polycap Otieno, and team captain Dalmas Otieno, this was agreed after the team held talks with Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa on Friday morning.
“We have been given Sh200,000 and promised the remaining Sh2.2 million by Wednesday next week. The Minister was unhappy that we used Sonko branded T-shirts at the tournament but we have also resolved that,” said Polycap Otieno.
The team spent Thursday night at the Ministry of Sports headquarters’ boardroom after failing to get audience with the minister.
Angola won the championship after edging our Turkey 5-4 on post-match penalties to lift the title.
Kenya finished in 12th position out of the 24 participating nations.
Kenya lost 4-1 to Turkey, 4-1 to Russia, before beating USA and Japan by the same 2-1 score line.
It seems like Kenya is a country that does not recognize heroes and heroines. New York Marathon Champion Mary Keitany returned to the country yesterday to a low key reception with no single government official nor an official from Athletics Kenya there to receive her at the airport.
How do you think Kenya should honour and recognize it’s heroes and heroines?