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Ministry denies role in suspended AK polls

ISAIAH-KICHWANAIROBI, Kenya, April 18- The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has denied reports that it is behind the indefinite postponement of Athletics Kenya (AK) elections.

In a statement, the Permanent Secretary, James Waweru, added the ministry has no objection to the polls as long as they conform to the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Sports Act of 2013 and their corresponding constitutions.

“The Ministry is concerned by continued reports which have been appearing in some section of the local media since Mon day 16th April, 2013 attributed to some AK officials and former athletes blaming the Ministry for postponement of AK elections through a Court order issued on April 16.

“Contrary to the claims and further to our earlier press statement on the same dated April 15 we maintain our stand that the Ministry does not nor does it have any intentions of interfering whatsoever with the AK management or that of any sports organization in the country as being peddled in the media,” Waweru stated.

He added: “The Ministry will continue carrying out its mandate of promotion and development of sports in the country guided by the Constitution and the Sports Act 2013 for the benefit of all Kenyans and the sports industry.

“Once again we emphasize that the Ministry has no objection to AK or any sports organization for that matter holding their elections provided they are in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the sports Act 2013 and their respective constitutions.”

AK elections that were originally slated for December last year have been deferred at least four times, the latest earlier this week when federation boss, Isaiah Kiplagat, said they had been suspended altogether.

Kiplagat who has led the federation for two decades had maintained the Office of the President would supervise the polls but also lamented that the Ministry of Sport was interfering with the process.

Earlier, Waweru had reportedly opposed the polls over some articles in the new AK constitution that gave the national Executive Committee members voting rights over other incumbent officials in the former affiliate branches that have been reconstituted to reflect the administrative structure under the country’s new constitution.

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