Why KMSF boss Kimathi is no longer chair of Safari Rally organising body – Capital Sports
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has clarified that Kenya Motorsports Federation (KMSF) CEO Phineas Kimathi was relinquished of his post as the chair of the World Rally Championships (WRC) Safari Rally organizing committee because of an overload of responsibilities.
The former rally driver has been replaced as chair by multiple national rally champion Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo but will remain CEO and secretary to the committee.
“Phineas is the CEO to the rally and the structure of the committee is such that the CEO is also the secretary. The secretary to the steering committee is traditionally the CEO of the Safari Rally, so the only position he has relinquished is the chair. He was previously the CEO, secretary and chair of the committee, which we believe was an overload for him,” Namwamba said.
He continued: “We agreed that he’ll remain CEO and secretary and we get some one else to be chair of the committee. That is the role that Flash Carl Tundo (sic) will play.”
Namwamba’s clarification comes in the wake of fears in the past week that the megaevent was in jeopardy following reports that next month’s Africa Rally Championships (ARC) Equator Rally in Voi – traditionally a dry run for the Safari Rally – had been cancelled.
The tension came in the wake of the CS’s reorganization of the committees for the event, including the steering committee to be headed by Namwamba himself – assisted by Sports Principal Secretary Jonathan Mueke.
Nonetheless, Namwamba said all the appointees merit their new positions by virtue of their longstanding experience in motorsports.
“I am confident we have a very good team…it is a refreshed team that is a mix of some old heads who have been around for sometime and some new, fresh minds. But, overall, people who know rallying. I mean…people like Carl Tundo have been around like forever. So, I am very confident we have a good team and as government we are ready. We should be able to deliver an incredible Safari Rally, which will also be historic in the sense that we will be marking the 70th anniversary of the event,” he said.
The CS was speaking Monday morning when he unveiled the two committees at his office in Upperhill, Nairobi.
Namwamba expressed hope that this year’s edition will provide more opportunities for Kenyans to grow themselves economically in the spirit of the Kenya Kwanza government’s bottom up ideology.
“We want to see a more Kenyan flavour in this Safari Rally, We don’t want to see a rally that is foreign, looks foreign and feels foreign and that’s why we want Kenyans to be a part of it. We want to see more Kenyan drivers, and Kenya traders benefitting from the presence of the world in Kenya,” Namwamba said.
This year’s Safari Rally is set for June in Naivasha.