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Tribunal recommends Fifa normalisation to oversee football in Kenya

By Barry Silah
Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 00:00 | 2 mins read
FKF boss Nick Mwendwa during a hearing of a case at the Sports Disputes Tribunal. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Kenyan football is in more turmoil after the Sports Disputes Tribunal requested world governing body Fifa to form a normalisation committee to oversee the game in the country for 30 days until a new office is in place.

In a 49-page ruling, delivered via video stream due to the coronavirus pandemic, tribunal chairman John Ohaga called out Football Kenya Federation (FKF) for failing to adhere to the spirit of a free and fair election by enacting an untenable Electoral Code that essentially locked out competitors and less than six months before.

Ohaga also said the National Executive Council (NEC) is in office illegally while terminating the term of FKF vice president Doris Petra and the nine NEC members while only sparing federation president Nick Mwendwa, who will now just be a figurehead, until the next office is duly elected.

“Article 81 of the Kenyan Constitution talks about free and fair elections and as a tribunal, we find the move by FKF Electoral Board to push through with discriminative eligibility criteria like being actively involved in football activities for the past three to four years is unlawful.

The fact that it was not contemplated under the FKF Constitution and was sneaked in almost the last minute clearly was intended to be an illegitimate barrier to contestants and puts paid the argument by petitioners that the whole process would be a mere coronation exercise,” read part of the ruling.

The move is blow to Mwendwa who had hoped for a smooth road to a repeat election slated for March 27.

Mwendwa had seen the first exercise quashed by the tribunal last December after the Ohaga-led team found that there was no public participation and that the Elections Board was not well-constituted.

After abiding by the request of the tribunal from the December ruling, FKF sensed trouble ahead after Sports Registrar Rose Wasike told them to abide by the Sports Act before holding elections.

That prompted Mwendwa to seek a request at the tribunal to allow them conduct elections and comply later but that invited his opponents who felt locked out of the exercise.

It turned out to be Mwendwa’s waterloo as while the tribunal quashed the registrar’s request, it is the other petitioners’ requests that brought him down.

The petitioners, who constituted a number of disgruntled clubs and branches who had been locked out of the elections, were enjoined into the case. They raised a number of issues among them the legitimacy of the new Elections Board which they termed illegal.

Barry Silah