After the Kenya Prisons women volleyball team endured untold suffering and the embarrassment of being recalled from continental duty
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has sought to mend fences between his ministry and the team.
During a meeting with the players on Monday, the Cabinet Secretary gave an assurance to the reigning league champions that they will never be subjected to such an experience again.
Matiang’i’s remarks follow a public spat between his ministry and the prisons department in recent times, specifically regarding the stand-off which led to the withdrawal of the women’s team from the just concluded Women’s African Volleyball Clubs Championship in Cairo, Egypt.
“I was very angry when the PS called me and told me that our ambassador in Egypt says our team is holed up somewhere. I felt like an irresponsible parent and that’s very bad. I don’t like feeling irresponsible. People looking at me and wondering how a team can be in Cairo and I’m not aware,” Matiang’i said.
The CS also assured the players, who were led by captain Brackides Agala, that the government is committed to supporting all the sports activities and will, as a matter of fact, increase its allocation for the sports budget.
“We will give them a cheque that they have never seen since independence. We will look through allocations and immediately double the money we put in sports. I don’t want our sports people to be stressed again,” he said.
At the same time, Matiang’i has cleared the Kenya Prisons men’s team to compete at the continental championship which serves off in Cairo, Egypt on Monday.
While ordering the team’s repatriation in a terse statement on March 21, State Department for Correctional Services PS Zeinab Hussein accused the team’s management of sneaking the players out of the country to compete in the tournament.