Kenya: New Ministry Officials Sample Safari Rally Sections, Organisation

The two new Chief Administrative Secretaries in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage on Thursday joined a high-level inspection visit of the World Rally Championship Safari Rally's Service Park and sections in Naivasha exuding confidence Kenya will stage a first class event in June.

Zach Kinuthia and Simon Kachapin, who were recently transferred to the sports docket, said the June 24-27 Safari will firmly put the country on the global map and assured the government's commitment to organising a memorable competition.

Speaking at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute in Naivasha during the familiarisation tour on Thursday, Kinuthia said the fact that the event will be beamed live in about 155 countries to an audience estimated at 100 million people will place Kenya highly.

"We expect more than 100 million to watch the event live from the Hell's Gate National Park (Power Stage) in Naivasha and that is a great boost for the country," said Kinuthia.

The CAS was clearly impressed by the progress made by the event organisers after inspecting the Service Park area inside the KWS Training Institute.

The two ministry officials were taken through a section of the rally route at the Soysambu Conservancy late yesterday and held a meeting with the expansive conservancy's management.

The Safari Rally will be returning to the World Rally Championship series after 19-years out with the ministry officials terming its return to the global map as a show of confidence for Kenya and a boost for the country's tourism which had suffered from the effects of Covid-19.

Kinuthia noted that the country had made great strides in battling the coronavirus, citing the recent importation of vaccines as part of the government's efforts to fight the virus.

"Majorly, we have been able to contain the spread of the virus due to the strict measures outlined by the government to help curb the spread of the disease.

"The Ministry of Health has been in the forefront in ensuring the protocols are adhered to," said the CAS.

His counterpart Kachapin also acknowledged that the county's health safety protocols were top notch, with strict adherence to measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

"The rally is a social event and the country having successfully held similar social occasions, we will be applying the same measures for the Safari Rally," he added.

The Safari Rally is expected to inject in excess of Sh6 billion into the Kenyan economy, with the government having committed over Sh600 million towards the rally's organisation.

The duo was optimistic that the team tasked with preparations -- led by Chief Executive Officer Phineas Kimathi -- will have completed its work in time.

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