Deputy President William Ruto says the government is committed to sticking to its policy of remunerating top performing sportsmen and women in the country. Ruto urged them to continue burning the midnight oil to uphold Kenya’s reputation as a great sporting nation.
“I want to assure you that exemplary performances in the international arena will never go unrewarded. This is the policy the Government came up with after it took power and will not renege on it,” said Ruton at his Karen residence yesterday where he feted the national football team Harambee Stars for winning the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup at the expense of Zanzibar during last weekend’s final in Machakos. He described the win as a milestone for Kenya which has been starved of success in football for a long period.
He added: “I wish to take this opportunity to laud Harambee Stars for a job well done. You guys have made all Kenyans proud despite their different political affiliations. Football is a vital tool of uniting Kenyans and this is exactly what Harambee Stars have done.”
As acknowledgement to the breakthrough by Stars, Ruto dished out Sh 5 million to be shared among players and officials as top-up to the initial Sh 1 million he had given the team after they beat Zanzibar 3-2 on penalties to clinch the coveted regional title.
He presented another Sh10 million which was a personal donation from President Uhuru Kenyatta through the Ministry of Sports. Earlier on, Stars had received Sh1 million each from Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his Machakos counterpart Alfred Mutua and a further Sh3 million from SportPesa and an equal amount from Cecafa.
Ruto said all the gold medalists, whether in athletics or any other sport, will get Sh1 million, silver medallists Sh750,000 and bronze Sh500,000. “I must reiterate that the Government will be steadfast in payment of these perks.
What I saw on Sunday where Matasi (Patrick) saved penalties coupled with a solid show by Harambee Stars was amazing and I urge the team to continue doing it more often,” said the DP, who also promised the team a Sh50 million reward if they qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.