Rugby Rugby

Omwela to vie for re-election as KRU chair


OMWELA-BACKNAIROBI, Kenya, February 25 – Former Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman, Richard Omwela announced on Wednesday he will run for the top seat during the March 17 Annual General Meeting.

Omwela, who served as KRU Chairman from 2003 until he lost to Mwangi Muthee in 2011, was nominated by 10 Kenya Cup clubs and two Nationwide teams to seek re-election after his successor left it vacant with his resignation last December.

Muthee, a former Kenya international prop forward, downed his tools citing misappropriation of funds, conflict of interest and integrity of some board members but Omwela accused his successor for poor management.

“When I departed KRU I thought I left it in capable hands but  recent wrangles show we possibly made a mistake because the people mandated to run the game have put it in disrepute.

“Muthee did an honour to resign because he did not have ability to manage the board. If I’m elected I need an executive that has integrity and if I’m unable to get the game where it’s should be, then I will quit too,” Omwela who is a lawyer by profession stated.

During his tenure, Omwela who initiated plans to build a standard 25,000 capacity stadium at Ngong Road’s Impala Grounds and popularized the shorter version of the game, says his aim is to revive 15s by unifying Kenya Cup and Nationwide league.

“When I left we had set aside Sh45m (USD 491,988) that was used to acquire Ligi Ndogo grounds where we had planned to build four mini stadiums but the money is no longer available and no one has explained where it went.

“If I get back, I will reintroduce the project as well as have corporate governing structure.”

Former Impala chairman Peter Nduati has also expressed interest to run for a director’s post.

Clubs that endorsed Omwela’s chairmanship bid are; Nakuru RFC, KCB, Strathmore Leos, Kabras Sugar, Impala, Nondescript, Western Bulls, Homeboyz, Catholic University, Mombasa, Bungoma and Webuye RFC.

The management of KRU has been in turmoil after former vice chairman Sasha Mutai was elected chairman at a Special General Meeting a fortnight ago despite acting chairman Gabriel Ouko obtaining a Court Order to block the SGM.

Directors Godwin Karuga, Maurice Masiga and Peninah Wahome are the other executive members that resigned after disagreeing with fellow board colleagues on audit that was to done on embezzlement of funds at last year’s Safaricom Sevens and Bamburu Rugby Super Series.