NAIROBI, December 3 – Senators are now demanding the Football Kenya Federation elections that get underway Friday at sub-branch level to be stopped and the national governing body investigated for corruption and mismanagement.
Senators Hassan Omar Hassan (Mombasa), Johnson Muthama (Machakos) and Mike Sonko (Nairobi) slammed the federation for their handling of Harambee Stars and the game in general during debate at the floor of the house on Tuesday afternoon.
Sonko kicked off the campaign for the postponement of the polls, citing that the FKF is operating illegally after failing to comply with the 2013 Sports Act as required by the Constitution of Kenya with the deadline for compliance on Friday.
“FKF is in operation illegally contrary to the sports act because they are supposed to be registered with the Ministry of Sports and they have not done that, Mr. Speaker,” said the Nairobi Senator as he demanded a ministerial statement on the Stars travel to Cape Verde for the World Cup qualifier scandal.
Hassan and Muthama called on the national government to intervene and order a probe into allegations of graft and mismanagement.
“The problem is stealing money, stealing, stealing, and stealing but if deal with the stealing of the money the problems will be finished in this country,” Muthama said
Issues on fairness of the process in question also came to the fore as the Senators said they were intent on leveling the ground for the election of the best person to run Kenyan football.
Hassan added: “If it happens that these elections proceeds tomorrow (Friday) or the day after and the same people are re-elected this people are likely to frustrate any further intervention we can make.”
Kakamega County Senator Boni Khalwale called for a special forensic audit of the Federation accounts citing even high ranking FIFA officials have been suspended over suspected improper dealing.
“At the headquarters in Zurich, all the bosses have been suspended including Sepp Blatter, so this little bush that Sam Nyamweya has been hiding in, should now be broken and that veil removed and a forensic audit to be done so that so that these people if anything should be found not fit to run for re-election,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula implored on the Speaker to direct the matter be treated as urgent so that the upper House should be briefed of progress within two weeks.
“Because of the state of football in the country, we would want to encourage the chair when the report is ready, we are ready to come for a special sitting to deal with this matter and those who are culpable, must be made to feel the full weight of the law. We can’t allow profiteers to infiltrate our sporting activities and destroy the lives of young people,” Wetangula said.
Temporary Deputy Speaker, Wilfred Machage (Migori) disagreed with Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe in his contribution when he said the national team should be disbanded because it had caused Kenyans untold suffering following lackluster performances.
Poor preparations and delays in paying players allowances recently led to the national team being bundled out of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers after losing 2-1 on aggregate.
A 1-0 home leg advantage was overturned by a 2-0 defeat in Praia where the team arrived three hours from kick-off after a grueling 22-hour journey on juice and biscuits on a chartered propeller plane.
Stars then failed to defend the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup title amidst claims of indiscipline in camp and unpaid allowances.
The elections are scheduled to commence on Friday with the sub branch polls then advance to the branch polls on December 10 before the national elections take centre stage on December 14.
The Senators were contributing to a request for a ministerial statement filed by Sonko, where he also wants the Senate to be briefed on how the proceeds of the contract between the FKF and a broadcast rights marketing company.
“I want the minister to give clarification on the agreement between FKF and MP and Silva Company based in Monaco, whereby FKF, received Sh1 million of dollars for the Kenya Premier League, where each of the companies was to receive Sh1 million on a monthly basis during the period of the league.
“I have the federation statements which show that the money was wired to the FKF account and it was withdrawn in cash by Mr. Nyamweya and his deputies, the money was misappropriated.
“The matter was forwarded to the Director CID vide a letter dated June 23, 2015, up to now no action has been taken. What is the ministry’s position on that? “Sonko said as he tabled copies of contracts between the two entities.
The Senate Committee on Labour and Welfare which in October met Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario, the Registrar of Sports, FKF President, Nyamweya and then FKF suspended officials Sammy Shollei and Dan Shikanda was directed to look into the petition and urgently submit its findings.
The elections that will be conducted by the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) have been rocked by accusations of vote buying, doctoring of the delegates lists and other malpractices by both the incumbent and challengers.
The Elections Board cleared six candidates for the top job in a race that will see incumbent Nyamweya face off against Gor Mahia and SportPesa Premier League (SPL) chairman Ambrose Rachier, former international Sammy Sholei; former chairman of the National Youth Enterprise Fund boss, Gor Semelang’o and Semi Aina
-Report by Laban Wanambisi