Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) were out of control last week when it emerged that some athletes such as star sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala nearly missed travelling to Oregon, United States, for the World Athletics Championship over visa hitches.
In their usual fashion, netizens piled pressure on the government and miraculously some athletes got their visas though others still missed.
Social media users demanded reforms in the country’s sports management.
Before leaving for Oregon, Omanyala defended the government, saying that visa processing is rigorous and obligatory.
But a statement by the fastest man in Africa, defending the government and Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has sparked an uproar.
“As I said, there is no one to blame for my visa delay. We all as athletes went for visa interviews at the embassy. After that, I was sent supplementary questions that needed clarification. But on Thursday, a day before my race, my visa was not out.
“It was through government intervention by the Ministry of Sports and Athletics Kenya that I got my visa. In fact, the Ministry of Sports through CS Amina Mohammed was instrumental in my visa being granted once the issue was raised,” he said.
He asked Kenyans to stop pointing fingers even as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations continue to probe the matter after sources disclosed that 32 joyriders jetted out even before the participants could get their visas.
Netizens now believe that Omanyala has been silenced by the government.
Hundreds of tweeps have expressed anger and accused the athlete of trying to sanitize the government.
Some advised him to borrow a leaf from legendary marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, who rarely comes out to defend the government when a mess happens, while others said he cannot stop them from calling out crooks at the Ministry of Sports.
Have a look at some of the comments we have sampled for you.
Rodgers Kipembe: “Once again, Omanyala should learn something from Eliud Kipchoge.”
Mwendia Jnr: “Omanyala is disrespecting KOT by defending the Ministry of Sports. Even our own GOAT Kipchoge doesn’t defend the Kenyan government.”
Lewis Omwamba: “Dear Omanyala, don’t bang a door after leaving a room, you might return.”
Austin Tunoi: “Whoever lied to Omanyala to post such a thing will know why KOT respects Eliud Kipchoge.
Droid: “My GOAT Kipchoge would never. Omanyala would have just shut up.”
Javada: “And just like that, Hussein Bolt is my GOAT. Omanyala is just but an overhyped government scout.”
Brian Gichana: “Omanyala decided to throw stones at people who once held his back. Betrayal!”