FKF ready for polls after SDT setback – CEO Otieno
Published on: January 24, 2020 07:01 (EAT)
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Barry Otieno says they have fixed the cracks that prompted the Sports Disputes Tribunal to stop last year’s elections, paving way for the process anew. The STD ordered FKF to conduct elaborate public participation sessions in addressing the electoral code issues, and appoint a fresh electoral board after it declared the initial one arbitrarily constituted. The declaration was made just before last year’s polls that had been scheduled for December 7 and in which incumbent FKF president Nick Mwendwa the only nominee for the federation’s top seat Over a month later, Otieno says the ball is on the delegates’ court ahead of Tuesday’s Special General Meeting (SGM), as their vote will give direction towards ending the election conundrum. “First, it is important to note we respected despite not agreeing with the SDT’s ruling. We have done what was required as far as public participation is concerned through our branches, despite the limited time that we had. “The National Executive Council (NEC) has also nominated new members for the electoral board, so we believe the SGM will approve what is necessary to take the electoral process to the next level,” Otieno said. The disbanded board had Elina Shiveka, a member, and Prof. Edwin Wamukoya (Chairman) who were deemed inappropriate to conduct the process hence the cancellation of the county elections. While Elina was declared as an individual with conflict of interest being a member of the SDT itself, Wamukoya’s questions on the board was on grounds that he headed the Club Licensing Committee at the federation initially. The new nominated board has communication expert Kentice Tikolo, sports management consultant Patrick Onyango, retired FIFA referee Alfred Ndinya, renowned sports journalist Ali Hassan Kauleni, Tennis guru Andrew Mudibo, Samuel Karanja, Rachel Muthoga and Elaine Mbugua. The current FKF office holders’ tenure ends on February 10, and Otieno says they want the elections held soonest possible to avoid a de jure lacuna. “The president (Mwendwa) has insisted he wants to be in office only by mandate, although the SDT was clear the current administration will be in office until the elections are held. “That’s why he had moved to start the process as early as last year. Hopefully, the SGM will pass the electoral code so that in the shortest time possible elections can be done,” the youthful CEO added. Meanwhile, the federation is optimistic the busy national teams’ calendar this year will not be affected by the delayed polls. “We have laid down structures to ensure nothing stops because of challenges like the ones we are having now. Harambee Stars will continue with the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers and of course the 2022 FIFA World Cup as it were. Harambee Starlets will also be playing in the AWCON qualifiers, and the junior teams will participate in their respective events too. The only demerit of the delay is that sometimes time and energy is used in issues that are not progressive, but operations must run as usual,” explained Otieno. Apart from the initial FKF presidency hopefuls that included former boss Sam Nyamweya, former Harambee Stars international McDonald Mariga has also expressed interest in the job after failing to capture the Kibera Constituency parliamentary seat in last year’s by-election. World Football governing body FIFA wants the repeat elections held by March 2020, meaning upon approval, the electoral board will have a tight schedule to rollout the roadmap to the polls.