Nick Mwendwa, the embattled president of Kenyan football, finds himself in a very tight corner – so tight that he has now become desperate in trying to hang onto straws to stay afloat.
The man, whose tenure has been catastrophic to Kenyan football leaving him paranoid and just unsure about everything that goes on, has now resorted to using keyboard warriors and bloggers to paint an image of a man with the backing of key leaders, including ODM party boss Raila Odinga.
Mwendwa, whose attempt to sneak to Zurich in the company of Sports Cabinet Secretary – Amina Mohammed, to deceive world governing body FIFA into allowing elections without full compliance to Kenyan laws, has recently used nondescript bloggers masquerading as media influencers to propagate a false narrative that Odinga’s intervention has convinced stakeholders to allow the elections without full compliance.
Kurunzi can authoritatively confirm that the purported meeting never took place and has been premised on a unscheduled visit by Mwendwa, his deputy Doris Petra and CEO Barry Otieno to Odinga’s office sometime last week.
Mwendwa’s entourage is reported to have gone to Capitol Hill without an appointment and ambushed Odinga in the name of presenting to him Harambee Stars AFCON jersey. The presentation lasted barely five minutes as Odinga was only alerted of their presence in his boardroom and only them on his way out after they had waited for more than three hours.
Sources at Odinga’s office have told Kurunzi how upset the former Primer Minister has been to learn of blogs suggesting he was backing Mwendwa to break the law.
Of greater concern to Odinga and his team is the fact that Mwendwa is a protege of Deputy President William Ruto, who has been and remains his chief financier.
Ruto’s opposition to the unity pact by Odinga and his 2017 presidential election nemesis President Uhuru Kenyatta that birthed the 9 March handshake that has delivered the Building Bridges Initiative, has left Ruto estranged INA government he helped form.
Odinga maintains he would never allow his name to be dragged into Mwendwa’s plot to break Kenyan law.
Recent events suggest Odinga is behind Sam Nyamweya, Mwendwa’s predecessor. Nyamweya has been warmly received in political events organized by handshake proponents and has been visibly active at BBI meetings, starting inaugural Nyanza edition held in Kisii.
At the final ODM campaign rally before the Kibra by-election in November, Nyamweya was introduced as the president of football by Suns East MP Junet Mohammed, who invited the veteran football administrator to address the mammoth crowd.
Mwendwa’s tenure in office comes to an end 10 February and with elections not anywhere close, stakeholders are now upping the pitch of their calls for government and FIFA to instal a caretaker committee to manage Kenyan football and organise for all-inclusive elections before the end of the year.
FIFA had strongly advised FKF to hold elections by 10 February 2020 with a provision of a further one month to complete the process but the restarted exercise is already experiencing headwinds and may abort once again going by recent events and claims by stakeholders that they have not been allowed to participate in the process as ordered by the Sports Disputes Tribunal in its ruling on 3 December 2019.
Further claims of illegalities have been premised on the Special General Meeting held on 28 January, with stakeholders insisting the branch delegates had no mandate to attend the meeting since their term had ended two days earlier.