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Mixed feelings from Kenyans on Harambee Stars' Brazil trip

13 June 2014, 17:13

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta will send the national football team Harambee Stars to Brazil in hopes of inspiring them to qualify for future World Cups, presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu confirmed Friday.

Kenyatta said late Thursday he wished the team "a great trip and experience and look forward to hearing your stories when you return."

The team was later handed USD 160,000 (KES 14 Million) by the president and first lady Margaret Kenyatta Friday.

Harambee Stars will leave Tuesday and stay for one week to watch Argentina against Nigeria, and another unconfirmed match. The spokesman said the trip is a "personal gift" from the president, who will not use public funds.

Kenyatta and his wife Margaret have pledged 120,000 USD toward the trip, along with another 40,000 USD from East African Breweries.

The move however, bore mixed reactions from Kenyans, eager to find out why such a donation did not go to a better cause.

Dun Kamuti on Facebook said, " Let them go to learn football, but not to make merry!!!

On his part, Bonny Live was unimpressed by the move, " There is a hospital in Nairobi without electricity in the maternity ward because of a KES 5,000,000 bill! Yet the president gives out over 10 million so Harambee Stars can watch football and yet the Harambee Stars will not play in World Cup in the coming 10 years so why waste money yet women are crying somewhere in a hospital because of power. It is totally annoying!

On the other hand, Deborah Wafula was okay with the move, " Of course it is a good move. They need to be encouraged, she said.

The Harambee Stars have never qualified for a World Cup. In the past, FIFA banned the side from international football due to government corruption and interference.

The Stars won the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Cup in 2013.

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