Kenya orders prisons team to take the next flight home

In Summary

• Prisons were expected to play against USFA of Burundi in the classification matches

• Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination denies having cleared the national league champions

prisons women's team players
volleyball prisons women's team players
Image: courtesy

Kenya Prisons’ women’s volleyball team goose has finally been cooked after the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination haphazardly ordered for their repatriation back to the country from Cairo Egypt.

Prisons, who were expected to play against USFA of Burundi in the classification matches for position 9-16 today, will not continue participating in the Africa Club Championship, a development that may see them face sanctions from the Confederation of African volleyball (CAVB).

The local champions had crushed out of the main competition on Wednesday night after losing their last pool ‘D’ match against El shams of Egypt 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21).

A press statement sent to the newsroom yesterday, Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination denied having cleared the national league champions to take part in the event. 

"Our attention has been drawn to the media articles reporting that the Kenya Prisons Service women’s volleyball team is in distress in Cairo, Egypt. The State Department for Correctional Services neither cleared nor financed the team’s travel to Cairo and we were surprised to learn of their presence outside the country,” read the statement signed by Principal Secretary, Zainab Hussein.

The statement continued: “Given the breach of protocol and the contravention of rules regarding public servants’ travel overseas, the government has immediately organised for their repatriation tonight (last night). Whilst the government acknowledges and supports sports as one of the many sources of our national pride, we regret this turn of events, which has caused the people of Kenya undue embarrassment.”

The latest development has raised questions about how a team affiliated to the Prisons department might have left the country without the ministry's consent.

However, Prisons troubles started in the country after the teams preferred date of departure was delayed, forcing them to not only travel late but also in bunches to the host nation.

The last group of eight players and two official arrived in Cairo just hours before their first match against ASEC of  Ivory Coast and were lucky to emerge  3-0(25-12,25-13,25-9) winner on Sunday.

However, trouble continued after the money they were promised failed, to hit their account, prompting the hotel where they were staying to issue a threat of locking them out.  

It took the intervention of Kenya Volleyball Federation chairman, Waithaka Kioni, to continue their stay in the facility. 

Earlier sources had indicated that Prisons had paid Sh300,000 in accommodation and had an outstanding bill of Sh 800,000, which they were to clear by Wednesday this week.