At last, Harambee Stars players receive DP Ruto’s millions
Each player and member of Harambee Stars’ technical bench who played a role in the team’s qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is set to receive between Sh280,000 and Sh1 million in bonuses, as promised by Deputy President William Ruto two years ago.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has confirmed, via a statement, that it has wired the Sh50 million cash prize to the players and other staff’s individual accounts.
This development comes two days after Sports PS Kirimi Kaberia confirmed that his Ministry had released the money to the federation.
“It’s a promise and we are glad it made the boys work hard. I can tell you they are very happy and we now look forward to preparing the team well for the Nations Cup in Egypt,” said Kaberia.
“These payments have been done on the basis of appearances by each player during the qualification campaign,” FKF media officer Barry Otieno explained.
“The highest paid (player) has received Sh1 million while the lowest paid will take home about Sh280,000. We signed a contract with these players and they know how much to expect,” he added.
A number of senior players who spoke to Nairobi News on Wednesday, however, explained that the cash was yet to reflect in their accounts.
“We want to sincerely thank the government, not only for releasing the funds, but also for the unwavering support we continue to receive around our national teams,” FKF president Nick Mwendwa said.
Ruto promised the national team players this money in December 2017, at about the time the qualification campaign had just started.
If this cash prize was meant to motivate the team to qualify, then it worked, as the squad led by England based midfielder Victor Wanyama managed the feat, winning two of its four matches at home to Ghana and Ethiopia.
The team also picked a precious draw in Addis Ababa, before losing in Accra in a dead rubber in its final fixture in the qualification campaign.
The release of this bonus was however delayed, with Kaberia at one time explaining to the Sports Parliamentary Committee that he wasn’t sure if Ruto made the promise in his personal capacity or on behalf of the government.