Football Kenya Federation’s report to the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts purportedly accounting for the KSh244.6 million given for the national team’s participation in the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in June this year is full of inconsistencies that suggest the report may not be the true account of the money.
A section of stakeholders have called on the government to institute an audit of how the money was spent, saying they “support the government in its position to hold on to funds until the federation accounts for the monies they have received in the past…”
During a press conference held in Nairobi, former president of the FKF Sam Nyamweya led his colleagues, who are eyeing to oust Nick Mwendwa from the helm, in calling for the FKF boss to resign for failing to keep his promise to the Kenyan people.
Former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga and Alex Magelo, the former speaker of Nairobi County Assembly, have declared interest in the FKF presidency but have joined hands with Nyamweya to push for a level playground in the federation elections before they can participate in the exercise.
They accuse Mwendwa of dishonesty in declaring monies the federation has received from various sources, with sports principal Secretary Peter Kaberia describing the FKF boss as one “ungrateful person”.
Transparency and fiscal discipline
“While the government has in the past committed to assisting the federation by funding the national teams, it cannot be bullied into doing so when there isn’t no transparency and fiscal discipline on how taxpayers money is utilized,” they said in a joint statement.
“Government funding cannot be at the expense of accountability in accordance with the law.
“It is therefore foolhardy for the federation president to move from one television station to another accusingly government of not supporting the national teams when he knows very well that it is their failure to account for what has previously been given to them.”
The government has maintained the FKF will not receive any further disbursement until they give a proper account of how the money was spent, leading Nick Mwendwa’s verbal attack on Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia, whom the federation boss accuses of being the stumbling block to their requests for more monies from the Sports Fund.
Ambassador Kaberia has maintained the government position, describing Mwendwa as one ‘ungrateful person’ whose federation has received more money than all other federations combined.
Culprits to book
“Nick Mwendwa and his collaborators cannot run away from the obligation to account for all they hav received,” the aspiring trio of Nyamweya, Magelo and Akaranga said, raising their voice to “bring the culprits to book if indeed it is established that the monies were channeled to uses other than what they were intended for”.
An analysis of the report hints to why the PS is hard on Mwendwa as it contains several misrepresentations and inexplicable entries under which millions of money were expended.
The report summary has two columns of “amount received” and “actual amount”, the latter consistently being higher than the former.
For instance, the report shows that FKF received KSh17,854,000 and spent KSh17,858,413 for a home match against Togo, which did not take place.
Instead, the federation explains – on a separate sheet – that Harambee Stars played Sudan away in Khartoum.
Togo are due to play Kenya during this month’s international break in an AFCON 2021 qualifier.
“The match was played in Sudan since Togo was not available,” reads a note titled “Harambee Stars AFCON Qualifiers 2019 Sudan v Kenya home and away friendly matches”.
The last time Kenya played Togo was on 17 June 2012 away in Lome, the hosts winning by a solitary goal.
KSh26,773,680 was spent against a received amount of KSh25,725,200 for a fixture away to Ghana in March.
This report suggests FKF had spent AFCON participation money for qualification and friendly matches two months before the exchequer disbursed the monies in early May.
PS Kaberia has maintained the money was exclusively given for Kenya’s participation at the AFCON and not for any other purposes.
Curiously, three friendly matches played by Harambee Stars in Paris (Madagascar), Madrid (Democratic Republic of Congo) and in Egypt (Egypt) cost a total of KSh63,051,316.30, which those familiar with how the friendlies are normally organised have questioned, describing the cost as exorbitant.
“Kenya vs Madagascar was played in Paris France where the team camped,” notes Bonny K’Ochieng on Facebook.
“Paris to Madrid is £35 per person, multiply by let’s say 35 people … That’s (KSh)1.4m, return is (KSh)2.4m. Two days accommodation in Madrid cost us (KSh)40m+??”
Another inexplicable entry is KSh33,930,770.32 spent against a received amount of KSh35,047,400 for “AFCON tournament (Cameroon)”.
It is not clear what this means although it may as well be interpreted to mean it’s costs incurred during the AFCON 2019 which was originally supposed to be staged in Cameroon but CAF made a decision to move the showpiece north to Egypt.
Participating teams at competitions such as AFCON are fully hosted by the Local Organising Committee for the tournament and as such teams do not incur any costs with respect to accommodation and local transport, among other expenses for the duration of the tournament.
FKF says it cost the taxpayer KSh42,587,504 against a received amount of KSh40,639,705 for the team’s 19-day training camp in France.