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State paid all money owed to Kenya Sevens

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by November 26, 2016 General
By AYUMBA AYODI
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The government has clarified that it paid all pending salaries and match bonuses from last year to Kenya Sevens players and technical bench.

Principal Secretary for sports Richard Ekai on Friday said that Government wired Sh41 million to bank accounts of the players while they were in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics as payment for bonuses and salaries covering the 2015/2016 season.

Ekai said he met Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) officials on Friday for a briefing session on the ongoing players’ strike that entered its fourth day. The government has convened a meeting between KRU and Kenya Sevens players on Saturday from 10am at the RFUEA grounds.

The Kenya Sevens team naming ceremony that was scheduled for Thursday failed to take place due to a go-slow engineered by players over match bonuses which they said amounted to Sh 23m.

Ekai directed Saturday Nation Sport to KRU officials for more details from their meeting.

KRU vice-chairman Thomas Opiyo alleged a blackmail by Kenya Sevens players, saying that the squad went on strike knowing well that all their salaries and match bonuses from last year were settled in full by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“All the negotiations happened at State House without our knowledge and we were not aware how much money was wired to accounts of the players and members of the technical bench,” said Opiyo. “We have just confirmed about the figures and what was settled from Ekai.”

Opiyo explained that the government was aware of the difficulties Kenya Airways was going through after the airline failed to commit to paying match bonuses for the 2015/2016 season.

“Ekai said that is why the President offered to top up the difference in their (players and coaches) salaries and also paid their bonuses,” said Opiyo.

The biggest pay for Kenya Sevens came from Singapore Sevens where the team won their maiden main Cup title in the Series to claim a jackpot of US$5,000 (Sh 500,000) for each player.

On Tuesday, KRU chairman Richard Omwela said during the unveiling of the new Kenya Sevens jersey and match bonuses by team sponsor Sportpesa that Kenya Airways didn’t commit to pay the bonuses.

He said KRU only learnt few days ago that their CEO Ronald Bukusi had signed a clause committing the union to paying the bonuses.

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