The Kenya Rugby Union cries out to the government to review the 50% tax levied on their sponsors

KRU Chairman, Richard Omwela and CEO Ronald Bukusi has warned of the adverse effects the proposed levy would have on their activities and sport in general.

Shujaa  player in action

There have been lots of discussions since the budget was read by Finance Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich levying a 50% tax on gaming companies.

The Kenya Rugby Union has also thrown their weight in the discussion urging the government to review the proposal that will see gaming companies pay more in terms of tax.

In a statement, the Union also expressed fears over the Government plan where the monies collected from the proposed tax will be pooled into a proposed fund for distribution to various sports, culture and related activities/organizations.

The country has witnessed inefficiencies in sports activities attributed to poor planning and misappropriation of sports funds.

“With this in mind, there is hardly anything to look forward to with the establishment of this fund, especially when little, if no regard has been given to the detailed funding requirements of each sports federation,” the statement read.

KRU Chairman, Richard Omwela and CEO Ronald Bukusi warned of the adverse effects the proposed levy would have on their activities and sport in general.

The Union pointed out the needs of sports federations differ greatly from those of arts and cultural bodies something the proposed fund ‘did not take note of.’

Other Countries

For example, United Kingdom came to a conclusion that that imposing gambling tax was a misguided move and abolished it 16 years ago.

Rugby is the fastest growing team sport in the country, a feat that could not have been achieved without the implementation of these programs.

“We have witnessed players and teams from areas and schools previously viewed as non-traditional rugby playing zones taking up the sport, and even breaking into the national squads and winning national titles,” Omwela emphasized.

He added: “The Kenya Rugby Union, in particular, is keen on further growing and developing the game within all corners of the country, and amongst all willing participants. These development programs require heavy funding from the organization as well as its various benefactors.”

KRU CEO termed the proposal contained in the Fiscal Budget read by Rotich in March as; ‘defeatist, and retrogressive to the growth of the game, and sport in general.’

He added that sports federations are constantly being requested to be self-sustaining, to be attractive to sponsors, and that is what the KRU has been achieving by getting support from sponsors.

“The organization has not only been able to run various programs but also host successful events, generate other revenue streams, pay staff salaries while creating employment opportunities directly and indirectly,” Bukusi  revealed.

KRU recently entered a five-year partnership with leading gaming firm SportPesa worth Ksh600m, a venture geared towards developing the game at all levels and across all genders in the country.

“As a result, KRU is able to develop and implement programs over the short and long terms while remaining accountable to all its stakeholders,” Said Bukusi

The KRU CEO then served an example of the impact of the huge SportPesa investment in the game that risks being curtailed if the proposed levies are implemented.

According to Bukusi the National Sports, Culture, and Arts fund in its current form will hurt the growth and development of Kenyan sports.

It follows a similar call from Football Kenya Federation last week where its President, Nick Mwendwa advised the move would be counter-productive in achieving the stated goals of developing the sport in the nation.

Kenya Sevens Rugby team win big

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