A storm is brewing within the precincts of the Thika Sports Club over allegations of fraud by the Executive Committee officials. This year, an extra surcharge of Kshs. 15,000.00 was imposed on the club membership, without any explanation or on-going project to justify it. Members were in for a rude shock when their prepaid cards were frozen pending the completion of this “debt” which was loaded onto their personal accounts.
On the spot is club chairman Anthony Kabucho and his treasurer Stephen Kinyanjui, with members pointing an accusing finger at them for gross incompetence, fraud and embezzlement of monies meant for development. Kinyanjui was sacked from a German multinational Neumann Kaffe Gruppe for embezzling funds where he was the head of Finance.
Chairman Anthony Kabucho is also being linked to the arbitrary termination of reciprocal arrangements with Ruiru Sports Club, where he was previously an official but later banned for sexually harassing (spanking) someone’s wife while under the influence of alcohol. He has now used his personal/sexual transgressions to settle scores using the entire membership of the Thika Sports Club.
It turns out that the vast majority of the Thika membership preferred patronising the Ruiru Sports Club as their club had become infested with purveyors of rumours and innuendo. Prominent members of the club like Peter Kenneth terminated his membership for this reason.
Members have also been raising concerns about the budgetary allocation which is heavily skewed in favour of golf, just to appease the aging membership of retirees who add little or no value to the future of the club. They neither have fresh ideas nor do they want development but are there to kill time and stifle progress.
Gone are the days when old men and women were beacons of hope and vision, because nowadays they just sit in the club and gossip especially against young successful members of the club.
While new clubs like Wadi Degla have emerged, spicing up their offerings with new innovative products which are responsive to the needs of young, upwardly-mobile middle classes, Thika Sports Club is still operative like the colonial relic it is, which is hostile to the young and hospitable to the mentally dumbed-down age group of 50’s and above.
This particular set of people consciously chose to neglect the arts and sports sectors while only investing in golf simply because it was in their interest. Their self-centered approach at sports management saw the club almost auctioned off twice within the last 19 years with offers to buy the facility being tabled by Parklands Sports Club.
This retrogressive thinking has permeated in nearly every sports club and its borderline delusional to imagine that greens fees and annual subscriptions can keep clubs afloat in this day and age. It is impossible to balance the greed of Executive Committee’s plus manage facilities on that revenue stream alone. New ways of generating revenue are required outside the monolithic thinking of golf alone.
Members are now calling for a forensic audit by a reputable firm not linked to Stephen Kinyanjui, to provide a detailed financial analysis for the last 10 years. They are also asking the incompetent and corrupt Executive Committee to step aside pending investigations and in the interim a panel of sports experts to manage the institution and conduct a thorough audit of facilities and draw up a strategic plan.
Its this culture of imposing non-sporting professionals into sports environments which has led to the death of sports clubs around the country. Bureaucrats and stalwarts sourced from corporate or private business with no special knowledge in the field, come to deliberately run down such facilities through fraud and embezzlement.
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