‘Uncle Sam’ officially takes gauntlet with a view to unseat Mwendwa in forthcoming polls

Monday, April 20th, 2020 00:00 | By
Nyamweya consults with former federation official Michael Esakwa. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) founding president Sam Nyamweya yesterday slammed the gauntlet at the feet of embattled incumbent Nick Mwendwa, announcing the intent to unseat the latter in upcoming elections.

Nyamweya’s return from a four-year hiatus sets on collision course student against master, having groomed Mwendwa in federation management between 2012 and 2016.

The declaration also ends months of speculation over which course the former boss would take with the incumbent rocked on all sides by financial and legal problems.

“In view of the foregoing and for avoidance of doubt and with a true sense of  humility I, Sam Nyamweya, offer myself for the candidature of the president of Football Kenya Federation in the soon upcoming FKF Elections once the Covid-19 pandemic is  contained and upon resumption of normalcy in our activities and daily operations,” Nyamweya said yesterday.

He had paved way for Mwendwa’s assumption into the FKF top job four years ago by walking away from a three-pronged battle involving the duo and Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier.

His youthful successor strolled into the big office and had his way until last year when questions emerged concerning financial dealings at the federation.

Even so, Mwendwa was still considered a shoo-in for a second term with no serious candidate emerging to unseat him. But dynamics have vastly changed with Nyamweya’s return. 

“In response to your trust in my leadership, I have committed enormous resources to the cause, given my time and brought in my large network to support our shared aspirations,” Nyamweya declared.

The seasoned administrator said in a statement that he had started assembling his team which he says will be drawn from top-flight Kenyan Premier League, second tier National Super League and Division One.

“I will be unveiling my team after consultation with our Sub-Branch officials who have been the engine our success hitherto, progressive branch officials, our esteemed football clubs in KPL, NSL, DIV 1& 2, clubs participating in Branch and Sub Branch Leagues, clubs participating in the Women Premier League and Div 1 and all grassroots Football Clubs in the nine regions of FKF namely Western, Nyanza, Upper Rift Valley, Lower Rift Valley, Nairobi, Central, Eastern, Coast and North Eastern,” Nyamweya said in what will send shivers down the spines of Mwendwa and his backers.  

Nyamweya, under whose tenure the company running Kenya’s top-tier division KPL renewed its contract up to November this year, has signaled intent to grant another extension to KPL. This move will endear him to a number of clubs in the division who have faulted the Mwendwa administration for sabotaging KPL.

 Mwendwa had earlier indicated that FKF would yank the top tier division from KPL management by not renewing their mandate.

“My forthcoming leadership at FKF will extend the contract to run the top tier league with KPL for the sake of stability and continuity,” said Nyamweya

 In an apparent swipe at the controversy surrounding player call ups and fielding at national team level, Nyamweya says he intends to form a technical committee comprising acclaimed former players, coaches and referees to guide the federation’s agenda when re-elected.

 The Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) has annulled FKF polls twice in the last five months with the federation faulted for various irregularities. 

The federation is currently operating at the behest of SDT with all Executive Committee Members terms having elapsed.

 The SDT faulted the federation for excluding a section of stakeholders from vying in FKF polls and reducing it to a show for the incumbents.

In the meantime, ‘Uncle Sam’, as Nyamweya is fondly referred to has echoed the government’s calls to help contain the novel coronavirus.

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