Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Sam Nyamweya is not done with the incumbent Nick Mwendwa over the spending of funds meant to improve Kenya’s football.
Just after Harambee Stars tribulation in Egypt where they were playing in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against hosts the Pharaos, Nyamweya is now saying Nick wanted to steal more money from the government.
But the federation, through its CEO Barry Otieno has strongly come out to defend his boss.
In a statement sent to newsrooms with copies of invoices attached, a day after the 1-1 away draw, Nyamweya reads malice in the manner in which FKF dealt with the Harambee Stars’ accommodation issue in Egypt, and reveals more mind-boggling attempt by the federation to illegally pocket some money.
“We all know that the federation has incredibly failed in the accountability test especially with monies it has received from the government before and also from the world soccer governing body FIFA.
“This made the Government to change its way of dealing with the Federation by not issuing them cash directly but demanding for invoices from service providers.
“It is sad that when the government took this stand, FKF tried to blackmail the government by threatening to withdraw the national team from the competition, it remained only that, just a threat. The Government maintained the stand to be given invoices.
“Pushed to the wall, FKF cooked up stories that the team will be kicked out of their hotel in Egypt if they failed to pay for the bills upfront. They ignored the government order to have the hotel directly invoice the Ministry to have the bills paid.
“When they finally sent the invoice, it raised queries. While the Federation stated they needed USD 40,000, documents from the hotel billing system are different and it is clear that for the days the team has stayed there on full board, the bill would amount to between USD 13,000 and USD 18,000, a difference of USD 27,000 on the higher side. This is clearly an attempt to defraud the Government, which is a crime,” the statement read in parts.
Nyamweya goes ahead to remind everyone of how another Sh150million was misappropriated by the federation under Nick Mwendwa.
“The Federation has also failed to account for the Kshs. 130 Million cash given by FIFA for the purchase of OB van and Kshs 20 Million from Stars AFCON partners BETIN.
“In light of this and the attempt to defraud the Government, the relevant authorities should take up the matter and charge the culprits among them the Federation President Nick Mwendwa who the buck stops with.
“It is unfortunate that Mwendwa and his team have turned the Harambee Stars into a cash cow, using the team to not only blackmail the Government but to steal from the state and by extension the public.
“It is sad that almost half of the Kshs. 244 Million AFCON cash was channeled to a broker while the rest was used to airlift joyriders to Egypt and pay the Federation NEC officials hefty allowances leaving players with peanuts and arrears which have not been paid to date,” he wrote.
He has however thanked Harambee Stars players for fighting for the nation to secure a crucial goal against Egypt.
“We commend our players for giving their all for the honour of the national flag despite the kind of treatment they have been getting from the Federation. The performance against Egypt on Thursday where they held the Mighty Pharaohs to a 1-1 draw was clear testimony that our players are true patriots,” he said.
However, in a quick rejoinder FKF CEO Bary Otieno has rubbished the claim insisting that the ‘purported’ hotel bill did not cover every expenditure.
“This is politics the invoice sent to the Ministry was a preliminary invoice and not a final one. Depending on the services we get the amount might go up or down.
“Further, no money has been advanced to the federation to pay for the hotel. A final invoice will be issued at the end of the team’s stay in Alexandria. You can never be given a final invoice before you check out.
“Now national teams have special arrangements that range from the Menu, medical room, bus hire, training pitch hire, tea breaks, gym, swimming pool recovery sessions, laundry room, storage room… etc. which are not part of the hotel package.
“The price can never be the same if you just need a full board hotel buffet and a conference room,” Bary responded.