The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has announced its commitment to disbursing cash awards to teams and winners of the Talanta Hela tournament, following pressure from the Council of Governors (CoG). The tournament, which concluded with finals in November last year, promised significant cash prizes to the top-performing teams, with delays in payment sparking concerns among participants and officials.

Initially held across all counties, the tournament culminated in the finals where winning teams were promised Sh5 million each. However, despite the passage of two months since the conclusion of the tournament, participating teams and coaches are yet to receive their cash awards, prompting the CoG to seek clarification from Sports CS Ababu Namwamba.

In response, the ministry attributed the delay in payment to participants’ failure to provide bank account details as advised. Dr. Davit Okoti from the ministry assured the governors and participants that efforts were underway to facilitate the payment process. He explained that participants were instructed to open bank accounts with KCB to facilitate cash transfers, but the process was stalled due to incomplete submission of required documents.

CoG Chairperson Ann Waiguru expressed disappointment over the delay, emphasizing the ministry’s earlier commitment to reward top-performing teams and individuals. She highlighted the unrest in communities resulting from the perception that county officers were withholding funds, urging the ministry to expedite payments and provide a clear timeline for disbursement.

Mophat Mandela, caucus chairman and Kakamega Sports executive, echoed Waiguru’s concerns, emphasizing dissatisfaction among counties regarding the handling of the tournament. He underscored the tensions and suspicions arising from the delayed funds, with students accusing county officials of embezzlement amid a lack of financial disbursement.

The ministry’s assurance to address the outstanding payments is a welcomed development, offering hope to participants eagerly awaiting their well-deserved cash awards.

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