Sunday, April 28, 2013

Open letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Art

Greetings Waziri Hassan Wario Arero! Allow me to begin by congratulating you on your nomination for the position of Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts.
Precisely seven days ago, I wrote in this very column that the sporting fraternity could not wait any longer for your identity to be revealed. Thankfully, His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta spared us any further apprehension when 72 hours later he announced your name along with those of 12 other nominees for various cabinet dockets.
Honestly, your nomination took me by surprise considering that I had never heard of your name anywhere in the sporting circles before. I am embarrassed to make this confession, but the truth is I am being economical with the truth here. I was hearing your name for the first time last week. But that is beside the point. My main concern is to bring you up to speed with the goings-on in Kenyan sports. I believe this information will come in handy you when you finally assume office.
First and foremost, it would be of utmost importance for you to know that as much as the President categorically stated that your role (and that of your other Cabinet colleagues in-waiting) will be nonpolitical, everything about sports in Kenya is political!
In the course of discharging your duties be prepared to get drawn into the endless political turf wars that are synonymous with all sports federations in the country.

Be particularly wary of Football Kenya Federation (FKF). Controversy is the middle name of this federation whose past and present leaderships are known for their conniving and wily ways, especially when it comes to transparency and accountability.
But FKF will not be the only source of your headache. The equally inept Cricket Kenya (CK) and Kenya Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) are FKF’s chief partners in crime. Ever wondered why Kenya’s performance in cricket and boxing nosedived to a bottomless abyss? Well, wonder no more Bwana Waziri.
Don’t be deceived by the many medals Kenyan runners rack up at very global event; if you scratch beneath Athletics Kenya’s (AK) glossy exterior you will be surprised by the heap of dirt you will unearth.
The good performance of the Kenya 7s rugby team and the women’s national volleyball team somehow paints Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) and the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) in good light. Yet, Kenya has not achieved its full potential in the two disciplines.
I won’t waste precious space on the ‘other’ such as tennis, badminton, squash, motorsport, handball, netball and basketball. There is nothing to write home about.
But being the optimist that I am, I believe you have what it takes to turn things around. At just 42 years, you are the embodiment of youthfulness in tandem with the Jubilee Coalition’s campaign clarion call for the long overdue generational change. What more! Being an Anthropologist you should be able to immortalize the past, present and future exploits of our athletes in the National Museum of our collective memories.
Finally, it’s my hope that you will take the cue from the appointing authorities (the dynamic UhuRuto duo) and roll up your sleeves for serious work once the parliamentary vetting committee clears you. Good luck Sir!

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