Photo : Safaricom Limited CEO, Bob Collymore.
In April of this year Safaricom made a very difficult decision which was to pull out of rugby sponsorship and the reason for that was Safaricom were not happy with the way things were run at Kenya Rugby Union.
“Corruption is something which I personally take a strong position on, my company takes a strong position on it pleases me to see the president of our republic also takes a very strong position on. I was not happy with what I was seeing and so we made a decision unfortunately very soon after Richard was elected. “ Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said.
“We weren’t happy about the allegations of fraud and corruption within KRU so since then we’ve had a number of discussions with our fellow sponsors. We had a conversation with the fellow sponsors and we decided that we are happy with the progress that Richard is making. Not much has been done because it’s still some small work that has been done and we think that it is really important that collectively we start to have a plan on how collectively we can rescue the sport. “ Collymore Added.
Safaricom being the largest sponsors outside of the government really believe that sports have the power of positive impact and that the last thing they need to see is the rugby sport going back where it was five years ago.
Bob was tough on corruption issues and he boldly said that if it was to continue, then the journey to having a modern rugby stadium will never happen.
“When I spoke to Richard, Richard said: look for the first year we have had an English team and if we were to go all the way back to Ngong road it’s gonna be difficult to lift rugby to a point where we can see thirty to fifty thousand people watching the sport over a weekend.”
“We need to build the sport where we can eventually raise sufficient money to have a rugby specific stadium we know that Kasarani is not ideal but if you don’t deal with the corruption issues and the allegetions then we will never get to that.”
“I want to be very clear and that is we are not going to commit any sponsorship unless we can be fully satisfied that all of the outstanding issues have been resolved. All the people who have been named in the report do what I think our good president says, step aside. We are happy with the progress you are making Richard, we want to continue supporting rugby, we want to come back and support Safaricom sevens in October and so the clock is ticking. “ Bob Collymore Concluded.
Collymore finally said that Safaricom will work with Kenya Rugby Union but they should solve these problems as they still have a lot of work that still needs to be done