A woman during the late legendary athlete Ben Jipcho’s funeral at his home in Trans Nzoia County tore the government apart for neglecting the county’s sportsmen.
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) President Paul Tergat, and Deputy President William Ruto were among those who attended the emotional ceremony.
The woman who is a retired athlete stated that government officials are always fast to increase their salaries but forget about the athletes.
She demanded that the Heros and Heroines Committee needs to be implemented so that they could get their pension and medical cover.
“Mheshimiwa Lusaka, wale wako hapa, wale wako parliament. Nyinyi kitaka kuongeza mshahara yenu munaongeza within one day. hata usiku munaongeza. Lakini sisi wanariadha tunataka heroes and heroines Committee iwe implemented na tupewe pension na medical cover,” she demanded.
The woman went on to mention that she tried helping the late legendary footballer Joe Kadenge and Peter Dawo a retired footballer who at one time was reported to have been languishing in poverty.
She went on to ask the government if helping people on their deathbeds was the norm despite representing the flag in international competitions and bringing medals to the country.
“Nilimsaidia Joe Kadenge, nimemsaidia Peter Dawo. Kuna mwingine nilipeleka India unfortunately akakufa. Nimekuja nikasaidia Ben Jipcho saa hii ni marehemu. Tutakuwa tunasaidia watu saa ile wameenda kwa makaburi. Kwanini? Kwani serikali ni masikini? Na tulilete bendera Kenya hii tulilete silver Kenya hii. Mimi nikiwa na shida na saa hii hamjanisaidia mimi nitapiga hio sanduku na nitafufuka. Sitaki hio mchezo. Kwa hivyo kwa niaba wa wachezaj waote wa Kenya, tuungane pamoja,” she said.
On his part, DP William Ruto stated that sportsmen of the old times suffered because there were no structures to help them in those days but now the government was putting up some measures.
The government has in the past been accused of neglecting its sportsmen with one case being of the boxing legend Conjestina Achieng who languishes in poverty.