NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19- So, who is fooling who? Is Kenyan football headed back to the mid 2000s when the country was suspended by FIFA twice over corruption, mismanagement and government interference?
It has taken only a week since Victor Wanyama signed for English Premiership side, Southampton in a move hailed by all and sundry as the beginning of the Kenyan football renaissance for the pungent smell of wrangles at Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to fill the air.
Those familiar with the progression of the Kenyan game in the last decade and a half are aware of the script.
Accusations and counter-accusations, attempts to muzzle those who dare publish the allegations and now, the Government which had largely sat and watched wading into the saga and we all know what is going to happen next.
On Thursday, Cabinet Secretary in charge of Sports, Arts and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario told FKF’s top brass led by their overlord, Sam Nyamweya, to put their house to order or he would risk another FIFA ban to place the country’s football back on track.
Wario’s declaration comes after a fortnight where a series of incriminating documents produced by suspended FKF National Executive Committee (NEC) members, Sam Shollei, Tom Alila and Hussein Terry have surfaced with Nyamweya engaged in a robust riposte to defend his innocence, including threats of litigation against any media house that publishes the damning claims.
Beneath the table, Nyamweya has been lobbying media managers to sack journalists who have dared to report on the claims using the same handbook of intimidation he employed in the mid 2000s when he was the leader of the defunct Kenya Football Federation.
Without revealing details, Capital Sport is in the know of a number of reporters who are in his crosshairs for simply giving Nyamweya’s critics a platform to air their claims.
As highlighted in a previous article highlighting the rot in FKF, a list of journalists thought to be on his payroll or have received kick-backs is still doing the rounds.
”I’m ready to take any risk that will improve Kenyan football, and take it back to glory days. If we have the best player in East Africa that comes from Kenya then why not be the best in region by winning titles,” Wario said whilst addressing Nyamweya and Co when they paid him a courtesy call at his office.
“We are aware there are dissenting voices out to tarnish the image of football, but Kenyans know the true reflection.
“We laud the Government for its support and funding towards our National teams and we are happy that our parent Ministry has again given us their commitment to continue funding our programmes,” was Nyamweya’s take on the same meeting.
The allegations said to be a hot potato for any journalist who dare print them centre on some Sh35m given to FKF between November 2011 and December 2012 that ‘cannot be traced’ in the audited accounts presented during their AGM last month.
Further claims of Nyamweya ‘loaning’ FKF Sh27m from his own pocket have also surfaced with a number of support documents from the federation bankers, Family Bank being dispatched to newsrooms.
As expected the federation boss has hit back hard on the claims and in one of the many press statements fired from his canon, stated thus.
“We wish to inform you all that the federation, after perusing the documents established that they are not authentic and has therefore referred the matter to the anti fraud unit.
“The individuals, who were suspended by NEC due to gross violation of rules governing football, have ganged up to wage war against the current office with the aim of discrediting the gains made so far by FKF.”
A letter written to FIFA over the matter is yet to be responded to and with the government now entering the fray; it will interesting to watch what becomes of the country’s football in the coming days.
In the interim, some journalists continue operating under uncertainty over whether their reputations will be tarnished when the ‘Nyamweya M-Pesa list’ is made public or whether their managers will succumb from lobbying and to borrow a phrase popularised by website owner Bogoko Bosire, ‘send them to inflation.’