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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 2 November 2014

SIAYA BOXING RING SAGA KNOCKS OUT ASSOCIATION

Officials of Siaya County Amateur Boxing Association have said corruption messed the association’s plan to have a boxing ring, and want Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter.
In a press statement, the officials accused three of their members and Alego/Usonga CDF committee members of colluding to embezzle part of the money allocated for the construction of the boxing ring.
Former Alego/Usonga MP Edwin Yinda approved Sh298,000 from area CDF in 2012 for the construction of the ring and purchase of equipment, the statement stated.
From the amount, Sh260,000 was for the ring Sh39,000 for gloves, mouth guards, shoes uniforms and emergencies.
It was further stated the plan was shattered when three of the members allegedly colluded with CDF officials to withdraw the money from a bank and shared half of it among themselves.
With the remaining amount, the statement said, a substandard boxing ring was made at the home of the assistant coach Joseph Ochieng’.
George Ondugu who won the tender to construct the ring said he was not given the work but he later learned that someone else had done it.
An approved quotation copy Ondugu showed the press indicated that a standard professional boxing ring measures 20 x 20 feet and is made of high density cushions, block boards, leather and special elastic ropes. In addition, it should have executive chairs.
Sicaba secretary William Ochieng who is boxer Conjestina Achieng’s elder brother said the ring which was made measured 17 feet square, and is made of waste timber planks, veneer, poles  and sisal ropes.
Ochieng said the association officials read mischief in how the CDF committee changed the decision about the ring. The committee initially promised to use the money to make the ring then hand it over. A letter dated November 7 2012 signed by the CDF account manager, Malaki Magero stated in part, “remain patient as CDF does the purchase and assembling of the boxing ring, which will be handed over to you after completion”.
Two weeks later, the committee said the association should tender for the work, and be given the money to pay the contractor. “The tendering was done, and Ondugu emerged the winner out of five applicants,” said the secretary.
Sicaba officials alleged they only heard later that the money had been sent to a certain bank account and was withdrawn by some of their members and a Mr Odipo.
 Magero, the CDF account manager, said the money was released after three members went to his office purporting to represent the association.
The association wanted a professional boxing ring to save them the cost of hiring one from Kisumu for Sh10,000 per day for competitions and to be a source of income as it hoped to attract the hosting of tournaments.
Now Sicaba wants the EACC to intervene in the matter to help recover the money that will be used to construct a professional ring as was planned. “Our attempts to seek justice from the police, the current area MP, and the Siaya county government have all failed,” said the association secretary.