Kenya: Unease as 'Malkia Strikers' Players Demand Their Dues

16 September 2019

An uneasy mood has engulfed the Kenya national women volleyball team's camp in Japan after the government, again, went back on its word to pay the players and technical bench allowances amounting to Sh350,000 per person, on time.

Malkia Strikers are competing at the 2019 FIVB Women World Cup and the team's opening two engagements have ended in straight-set defeats versus USA (25-14,24-20,24-14) on Saturday and the Netherlands (25-12,25-19,25-17) on Sunday.

Coach Paul Bitok's charges are slated to face Serbia in their third outing Monday morning amid low morale among the players.

"It is difficult to coach a group that is not motivated," Bitok told Nation Sport from Japan on Sunday.

"We have these (financial) challenges and tried to put them at bay for the past month, but it is now beyond us. The situation is dire. Some of these players are parents and need to pay school fees. But all they have is promises and no money."

Nation Sport understands the players are owed allowances dating back to July when the team competed at the Intercontinental Cup in Italy.

The squad returned home and proceeded to Morocco to compete in -- and win gold -- at the African Games in Rabat last month.

Upon returning home on September 2, Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kabera promised these allowances would be paid within a week.

That has not happened.

"I am informed the allowances are being processed even though the process has been slow. I expect the money to hit the players account anytime now," Kenya Volleyball Federation President Waithaka Kioni assured on Sunday.

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