The highly-anticipated Football Kenya Federation elections stand halted going by a strong letter to FKF by the Sports Registrar.
Rose Wasike, in a letter addressed to Acting CEO Barry Otieno dated 25 October 2019, has given a list of conditions which FKF must meet if the exercise is to proceed.
The letter, which is a response to Otieno’s correspondence of 7 October 2019 to the Ministry of Sports on the elections, requires the federation to give detailed information about the members of the Electoral Board, show proof of registration of all counties and provide the federation’s amended constitution that complies with the Constitution of Kenya 2010 as well as the Sports Act 2013.
“Please note that failure to register county sports associations and adhere to my advice before elections are carried out will leave me no option but to cancel the elections and thereafter cancel the registration certificate of FKF,” says Wasike, who has also ordered that she be furnished with the list of all “those vying/nominated and their clearance certificates as required” by the registrar’s rules of 2 September 2016.
Wasike’s correspondence comes just two days after FIFA threatened to ban Kenya for “third party interference” and it is clear that the government is unperturbed by Veron Mosengo-Omba’s letter.
“I know that Football Kenya Federation is affiliated to FIFA, CAF and CECAFA. It should however be noted that FKF is not exempted from application of the Kenyan Constitution 2010 which is the supreme law of the land and is not exempted from application of the Sports Act No. 25 of 2013,” she maintains in an apparent response to FIFA’s threat, adding that “elections shall be held in accordance with the general principles for the election system as stipulated in Article 81 of the constitution”.
She insists that the constituted elections board must not just be impartial but “independent to ensure transparency, integrity and accountability”.
“Please note that at least one umbrella sports organization, the sports registrar and the ministry through the commissioner of sports are observers and should therefore attend scheduled meetings of the (electoral) board as observers.
“Invitation letters should therefore reach them early enough to enable them attend meetings as required.”
There is no evidence that the institutions mentioned in Wasike’s letter have been invited for the meetings so far held by the board, which was unveiled on 8 October.
The inclusion of Prof Edwin Wamukoya and Elynah Sifuna-Shiveka (vice chairperson of the Sports Disputes Tribunal) has been contested at the SDT.
“It is therefore my kind request that details of the five appointed members is availed to me urgently to enable me determine whether they are independent to avoid interference with the election process in any way or block those interested from vying.”
Wasike’s letter has further revealed that the team manager of Kariobangi Sharks (owned by FKF president Nick Mwendwa) collected 47 applications for counties which are yet to be returned to the registrar’s office.
“… Advise or assist the county associations to return the 47 application forms that were picked from my office on 9 August 2019 by Steve Otieno […] to enable us analyze the applications in good time and either register or reject the applications.”
What paragraph 20 of the sports registrar’s rules and regulations provide:
- An organization shall hold election in accordance with the rules provided in its constitution
- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a sports organization seeking to hold an election shall:-
- Appoint an independent panel consisting of at least five members to conduct the election
- Include observers from at least one umbrella sports organization, the ministry responsible for matters related to sports and registrar’s office
- Observe the principle of non-discrimination as provided in their constitution
- Inform the registrar of at least four weeks prior to the expected date of elections
- Conduct the election in an open free and fair environment
- Ensure that the nominated candidates obtain clearance from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Kenya Revenue Authority, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Credit Reference Bureau and the Higher Education Loans Board
- Ensure that the office of the chairman or president, secretary and treasurer are reserved for Kenyan citizens only
- An observer in an election and the returning officer shall, within seven days of the election, submit a separate report to the registrar on the credibility of the elections
- The sports organization shall, within twenty one days, notify the registrar of the newly-elected office bearers in the form R set out in the First Schedule
- The Registrar may register a newly-elected office bearers, if satisfied with the election and the election process
- The newly-elected office bearers shall hold office for a period of four years and may be elected for one further term
- A person who is dissatisfied with the results of an election may appeal to the tribunal within thirty days of the election
Nyamira sub-branch chairman, Jared Nyauma Ondieki, filed a petition at the SDT seeking to annul the appointment of the board; a matter which is due for hearing on 5 November 2019 before a three-member SDT bench to be led by chairman – John Ohaga.
Pending the hearing and determination of the matter, the tribunal directed that the contested board can receive nominations but they will not be valid.
Mwendwa, the incumbent, is the only presidential candidate to return his nomination papers to the board after the others – Moses Akaranga and Sam Nyamweya (Mwendwa’s predecessor) declined to be part of a process which they say “is a pre-determined exercise”.