Safaricom Blocked in Sports Stadium Sponsorship Deal
Published on: 5th Dec 2013
Kenya's politicians have blocked a sponsorship deal by the local mobile network Safaricom that would have seen it rebranding a major sports venue.
Safaricom had offered to pay Ks55 million (US$624,000) to rename the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani as the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani-Home of Heroes.
In a parliamentary debate, some politicians accused Safaricom of trying to rewrite history by removing the name of the former President from the sports venue. However, Majority Leader Adan Duale seemed to indicate in the debate that Safaricom might have got away with it -- had they offered to pay US$5 billion for the renaming rights.
President Daniel arap Moi ruled the country for 24 years, and the dropping of his name was felt to be insensitive in the run up to the country's 50th anniversary of independence.
Despite being seen by western NGOs as corrupt and condoning the use of torture and election rigging in later years, he is still admired by a large number of Kenyans.
The Moi International Sports Centre was built in 1987 for the All-Africa Games and has recently undergone a Ksh 900 million refurbishment.