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The red flags FKF boss Mwendwa ignored
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|The red flags FKF boss Mwendwa ignored by Kenyans247(1): Thu 19, March, 2020 07:25am|
As Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa continues to ponder his next move following Tuesday’s ruling by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT), he will rue the red flags he failed to see.
Of great concern to Mwendwa is the fact that the SDT’s verdict was another in a long list of cases that he has lost during his tenure.
This list also includes a case he lost at the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding the compensation of former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche, the one involving former national team coach Bobby Williamson at the Fifa Disputes Chamber, and two others at the SDT regarding the elections.
Immediately after the ruling, the 41-year-old Mwendwa addressed a press conference and asserted his position as FKF president, and stated that he would work towards organising elections by the Fifa deadline on March 30.
“They (SDT) cannot tell Fifa what to do. They said they would write to Fifa and we (FKF) will also wait for directions from Fifa. In the meantime football has not stopped – I am still working according to the constitution of the federation and the staff at Goal Project will continue doing their work,” Mwendwa said.
“This old mentality of disrupting things that are working well has to be stopped. We could be forced to repeat elections for the next five years because the tribunal has once again proved they don’t have the interests of football at heart,” a visibly angry Mwendwa added.By issuing this statement, Mwendwa failed to see that Ohaga had ostensibly called for external intervention because FKF violated Section 4 (a) of the FKF Electoral Code, hence the dissolution of the FKF National Executive Council.
But just how did Mwendwa get himself in this situation?
“He did not care much about what anyone else thought about anything. He only sought to disregard the law using his authority as FKF president, forgetting that nobody is above the law. It was not that difficult to organise credible elections, and we told him, but did he listen?” posed FKF presidential aspirant Lordvick Aduda on Wednesday.
Indeed, the fine print in Ohaga’s 49-page ruling shows that Mwendwa’s greatest folly was his failure to come up with an all-inclusive roadmap to the elections.
He sought to remain in office by all means and in the process ended up falling out with so many key stakeholders, including Sports Registrar Rose Wasike who once complained that the FKF president was undermining her office by declining invitations to attend deliberative meetings.
In the end, Wasike issued a letter warning FKF to either comply with the Sports Act, or petition the courts to allow them conduct elections on their own terms.
Mwendwa went to the SDT to “seek an interpretation of the Sports Act”, and accused the Sports Registrar of being a stumbling block in their quest to hold elections.
On the legal issues that contributed to the current standstill, Mwendwa’s declaration on November 22, 2019 that elections would continue as scheduled, despite the fact that there were cases pending at the SDT and at the High Court regarding the matter left his competitors aggrieved.
The other presidential hopefuls vowed to keep seeking justice and even threatened to form a splinter group.
“In the event that FKF blatantly and with impunity continues with their plans to hold elections against the directive of the Tribunal we shall have no other option but to institute contempt proceedings against Football Kenya Federation and the individual members of the illegally constituted FKF Electoral Board,” that statement read in part.
The SDT stopped the elections two weeks later, on December 3, by nullifying the whole exercise.
But even outside the Sports Act, the FKF had made so many blunders in the run up to the elections.
As opposed to the 2016 FKF elections that were held by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Mwendwa had appointed an electoral board which was first headed by Professor Edwin Wamukoya.
In his ruling last December, Ohaga found that the Electoral Board was not properly constituted and directed that the federation to come up with another credible board and a new Elections Appeals Board.
The eligibility of Wamukoya and former journalist Elynah Shiveka in the first electoral board was contested in court, and Ohaga ruled in the petitioners’ favour.
Mwendwa also failed to do enough public participation in the run up to the December polls, which was brought up at the SDT and an order issued for the same to be rectified.
FKF did finally meet the directives from Ohaga on December 3, but failed to see the glaring impediment in their Electoral Code.
Mwendwa’s unrelenting will to remain in power even after his opponents and other stakeholders raised the red flags, finally brought Ohaga to the conclusion that a normalisation committee is the best solution for Kenyan football.
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