Government bails out Shujaa and Lionesses as Namwamba blasts KRU directors

Government bails out Shujaa and Lionesses as Namwamba blasts KRU directors
Ababu Namwamba addresses the press after meeting with KRU officials

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba met with officials of the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), team management of the sevens women’s and men’s teams and player representatives in Nairobi.

There is a sigh of relief for the Kenya Sevens national team, Shujaa, after the Government intervened by taking care of their allowances for the Dubai and Cape Town legs of the 2022/23 Sevens World Series.

The Kenya Lionesses, whose trip to Dubai was in doubt due to unpaid visa fees, have also benefitted from the state intervention.

This happened on Monday 28 November 2022 after Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba met with officials of the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), team management of the sevens women’s and men’s teams and player representatives in Nairobi.


Shujaa players had a day earlier resorted to an online appeal, calling for funds as they had gone without pay for three months.

The Kenya Rugby Union had through their chairman Oduor Gangla admitted owing players money, saying, “We would like to acknowledge that the KRU owes the Shujaa program players and management 3 months of salaries as at the end of November 2022. Additionally, KRU acknowledges that we owe the Lionesses 5 months of their training allowances.”

Sources close to Michezo Afrika indicate that members of staff of the Kenya Rugby Union secretariat have also gone without pay for three months.

Namwamba hit out at the Kenya Rugby Union, saying, “To be honest, Kenya Rugby Union has not treated the players well and they must make it up to them... the player is the King...the player is the Queen. ''

“Players’ welfare must become a top priority for the KRU. Their salaries and allowances must take precedence over anything else. You can’t run a system where the player has no certainty over their contractual position. You can’t contract a player today and rip up the contract tomorrow. I feel the pain of players after being treated unfairly. I want to extend my hand to them but don’t want to see it happen again. Our players deserve the best,” added a tough talking Namwamba. 

Namwamba also said the Union will have to submit audited accounts reports to his office.  “We want to know how they have used funds from the government, World Rugby among other sponsorship that has come in.” 

He also demanded for a report from the union on why players have not been receiving their salaries with sponsors running away from rugby, saying, “Why is rugby not attracting sponsorship yet it is such a premium brand in Kenya... why is money going to football and not rugby?”

He concluded by saying, “We have agreed that issues of governance must be addressed and improved.”