Kenya: Ministry of Sports Mulls Fresh Polls for Federations

The Ministry of Sports is considering amending some aspects of the Sports Act in order to streamline the running of local sports organisations.

According to Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia, one of the changes being considered is to invalidate the current terms of all sitting federation officials, and then conduct fresh elections this year.

All federation and sports club must comply with the Sports Act under the new changes.

Kaberia on Monday said that this will help streamline operations in the different sports entities, and will also deter rogue officials from overstaying in office.

"The situation at the moment is quite chaotic and it is even very difficult to follow up on the mandates of the different officials. But if we have elections for all those federations and clubs done at a specific, predetermined time every four years, then everybody will know when the next elections will be held for new office bearers for all federations and that would make everybody's work very easy," he said.

The ministry also wants to amend the Finance Act and make sports sponsorship a tax deductible item for companies interested in supporting local sports entities or individual sports personalities.

This is aimed at easing the burden of supporting local sports from the government which is forced to finance not only national teams, but also local clubs taking part in assignments outside the country.

"We must find ways of encouraging companies to support local sports teams. Increasingly, we have found ourselves issuing money to different local clubs, many times, money that is not budgeted for, and this is not sustainable.

"That is why we what to rethink the issue of tax breaks so that we can entice more corporates to come on board.

"The Cabinet Secretary (Amina Mohammed) is very interested in moving the sports agenda and discussions around these issues are at an advanced stage. We shall consult all the stakeholders before implementation because we want every player to be on our side," he said.

If tax break on sports sponsorship is implemented to the letter, companies such as Safaricom, Barclays, East African Breweries, Kenya Power, Nzoia Sugar, Betway, Betin and SportPesa could benefit from supporting football, golf, athletics and other sports in the country that are crying out every day for financial assistance.

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