The tussle between the Kenya Rugby Union and referees has moved to another level after the Union took over match allocation for all the leagues.
A statement from KRU said “the Kenya Rugby Union will take up referee match allocation responsibilities for all the leagues. This is as per league manuals that give this power to the league organizer.”
Raga House understands the referees were on a go slow in the last round of the league due to outstanding arrears.
A referee's official told Raga House they have only been paid for one weekend since the 2017/2018 season began.
Last weekend, as per our investigation, Impala vs Kisii and Mwamba vs KCB had no assistant referees due to the tussle.
According to the statement, KRU will now directly reach the same referees they have not paid to manage the matches from this weekend.
“With this regard, KRU will be reaching out directly to accredited referees in the country for the management of the matches,” read a letter sent to clubs by KRU CEO Ronald Bukusi.
The referees are under Kenya Rugby referee society. They officiate Kenya Cup, Championship, Eric Shirley Shield and the nationwide.
Raga House has seen a letter written by Kenya Rugby referee society to the KRU on the current standoff saying:
“We are now in week five of the Kenya Rugby Union Fifteens league calendar. So far, the union has only given KSH. 230,000 Shillings for facilitation i.e. Transport, accommodation and match allowances. This is not even sustainable to run one weekend which has 43 matches as per your records.”
“The main reason for the standoff is that the director informed us that the Board had passed a budget of KSH 2.5 Million as a tentative figure for the season. This has not been honored. It’s good to state that two weeks into the season the secretariat-through the CEO implored KRRS to convince the membership to officiate week three and four without any payments. This we did in good faith and the union has not reciprocated”
“Since the union has decided to arrogate the responsibility of match official allocation we would like to tell all the concerned bodies that it is unfortunate we are unable to provide the service since the union cannot facilitate the match officials”
“From the letter that you wrote to us, it is clear that the Union is trying to avoid to pay what they owe to KRRS membership. This won’t happen.’ We would request Kenya Rugby Union to borrow from other Unions as regards the mandate of referee society/Association and their jurisprudence,” concluded the letter.
In the sixth round of the matches, the Ngong road derby between Kenya Harlequins and Impala Saracens will be the highlight of the Kenya Cup.