Team Kenya dominates athletics and volleyball as inter-parliamentary games get underway
Team Kenya got off to a flying start in Athletics at the 8th edition of the East Africa Community (EAC) Inter-parliamentary games at the Tanzania National Main Stadium in Dar es Salaam with Hon Dan Wanyama (Webuye West) and Hon Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) powering their teams to victory.
On Monday, Men’s Volleyball, Captain Hon Wanyama led his team to beat Tanzania 3 sets to 1 in the opening match at the indoor arena that was packed to the rafters. Clerk of the National Assembly, Michael Sialai led the Kenyan supporters on the touch lines to cheer on the team to victory.
In Athletics, Sunday, the 100 metre dash had a scintillating final. In the Men’s race, Hon Vincent Musyoka (Mwala) won the race 11.61, forty-five seconds ahead of Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (Uganda) – who realized 12.43. Third place went to Hon Nixon Korir (Langata) of Kenya who returned 13.05.
In the 200 metres, Hon Wanyama (26.28) led compatriot, Hon Charles Njuguna (27.44) while 3rd place went to Alero Tom Aza (Uganda) (27.68). The youngest Kenyan Senator, 25 year old Hon Mercy Chebeni (Nominated, Youth) scooped gold in 400 metres returning 1.23 minutes, 3 seconds ahead of Hon Esther Matiku (Tanzania) as Hon Achen Christine (Uganda) came third clocking 1.29 seconds.
The script was the same in the Men’s 400 metres with Hon Munyaka (1.00) and Sen Moses Kajwang (1.02) taking a 1-2 finish. Uganda’s Mbwatekamwa Gaffa managed 1.04 to take the third place.
In the 4 x 100 metre dash, Team Kenya comprising Hon Wanyama, Munyaka, Korir and Musyoka made for the tape at 51.53 to scoop gold. Uganda’s Hon Atiku Benaro, Gaffa, Alero Tom Aza and Pentagon Kamusiime took the third slot.
The 4 x 400 metre dash also lit the crowd of spectators who braved the early afternoon heat. In the Men’s category, Wanyama led compatriot to a comfortable 4.08 strong finish over Uganda led by Alero Aza. Tanzania’s Stephen Masele and teammates returned third. In the women’s category, Zubeda Sukuru and team managed 6.41 narrowly beating Adeke Ann and team who came second thirteen seconds later. Kenya was third.
The youngest MP in the National Assembly, John Paul Mwirigi made his debut in the team and came third in the 1,500 metres race that was won by Hon Julius Alhon Bua (Uganda) to capture gold returning 04.36 minutes as compatriot, Gaffa settled for 2nd place after rescuing 5.25 minutes.
Equally the new Laikipia East MP, Patrick Mariru took silver in the 800 metres in a time of 2.29 that was won by Uganda’s Julius Achon managing 2.16. Third place went to Tanzania’s Hassan Masala.
In the women’s race, the tide changed as Josefa Komba (Tanzani) returned 7.28 minutes, few seconds earlier than Adeke Anna (Uganda) who came in second. Third place went to Kinyamatama Juliet (Uganda) who managed 8.19.
In Men’s Tug-of-War, Tanzania scooped 6 points after recording 2 pulls to nil in similar score over Kenya and Uganda respectively. Uganda scooped 3 points after stopping Kenya 2-0. In the women’s category, Kenya and Uganda all scored 4 points after a win and draw a piece, to set themselves for a re-match to determine the champions. Kenya ensured 2 pulls to zero over Tanzania before settling to a 1-1 pull with Parliament of Uganda. In the subsequent match, Uganda walloped Tanzania 2-0.
Earlier on Sunday, the ten-day extravaganza was preceded by a Pre-Tournament Conference opened by the Speaker of Parliament of Tanzania, Rt Hon Job Ndugai. The Speaker reiterated the importance of holding the Annual Games, saying it enhanced inclusiveness and bonding. He remarked that as hosts, the United Republic of Tanzania was committed to ensuring all Partner States benefit from the games and enhance the relationships with the citizens.
Kenyas Deputy Speaker, Hon Moses Cheboi, who is the leader of delegation, representing Speaker Rt Hon Justin Muturi said Kenyans were happy to be part of the teams at games saying he hoped they would deepen the regional integration and friendship across the partner states.
Others who addressed the meeting were the President of the Senate of Burundi, Rt. Hon Reverien Ndikuriyo and the Leader of Official Opposition (LOP) in the Parliament of Uganda, Hon Winnie Kiiza. Further presentations were made by former Members of EALA, Rt Hon Pierre Celestin Rwigema on Discipline and Etiquette, Hon Chris Opoka on the Milestones of the EAC and by Mr Jeremiah Nyegenye, CBS, Clerk of the Senate of Kenya, on the way forward for the Inter-Parliamentary Games as it heads towards a decade.