Plans by the Mombasa County government to increase charges of hiring sports facilities and equipment as proposed in the draft Finance Bill 2016/17 have been met with resistance from local stakeholders, who claim it will curtail sports development in the area.
If the bill is passed into law, hiring facilities for half-a-day for all football matches including top-flight and lower-tier games as well as athletics events will be charged Sh10,000 up from Sh6,000 while hiring open grounds for any sporting event will set one back Sh3,000 up from Sh2,500.
To hire equipment for sports such as pole vault, triple jump, steeplechase, javelin, a high jump crossbar, victory stand and hammer throws, will be charged Sh1,000 per equipment, double the previous amount. The move has, however, sparked outrage especially from football clubs in the region who host their matches at the Mombasa County Stadium (top).
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) South Coast branch chairman Nicholas Mgendi and his secretary Lilian Nadudu say the county is making sports expensive through the bill and asked for consultations before it is enacted. “Most clubs lack potential sponsors and therefore such huge charges are not good,” said Mgendi.
“We have gone through it and since FKF is a government sports body, we have requested to be exempted from paying these charges for our matches,” said Goshi Ally, Mombasa FKF sub-branch chairman.
Clubs in the area mostly depend on the Mombasa County Stadium which is currently under refurbishment ahead of the 2018 CHAN tournament which Kenya is set to host.