NAIROBI, Kenya, March17 – Richard Omwela was re-elected Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman for a two-year term after flooring acting boss Gabriel Ouko in a stormy Annual General Meeting held at Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds on Tuesday evening.
Omwela who returns at the Union after losing the seat to Mwangi Muthee in 2011, garnered 25 votes against Ouko’s 17.
Paula Lanco collected 28 votes to retain his director seat alongside Rajinder Sembi, (34 votes), Oscar Mango (31 votes) and Ian Mugambi (28 votes).
“I’m taking a new challenge and walking in a situation that is very delicate. I’ve been in the board before but honestly I didn’t want to come back because I thought I had done my part but given the indecency in the game, I was requested by many affiliates to come and bring sanity.
“Top in line is to restructure the board because there is a feeling of misallocation of resources. I will divorce the board from management because I don’t want to see board members hanging at the secretariat directing them on what to do,” Omwela told reporters after being declared winner.
In all, 48 delegates from 28 clubs and two directors (chairman and his vice) participated in the secret ballot that was presided over by National Olympic Committee- Kenya Assistant Secretary General, James Chacha while Registrar for Sports; Rose Wasike and Sports Commissioner, Gordon Oluoch were observers.
The biggest loser was Director of Media and Communications Kadiega Ogutu who received seven votes to join Rugby Patron Ian Nduati (25 votes) and Sylvia Kamau (18 votes) on missing out on director slots.
However, there was drama moments after the returning officer took charge when Spartans RFC delegate, Nils Achayo protested over the barring of 12 Nationwide League clubs from voting on grounds that they had either not paid affiliation fee or did not submit delegates’ names on time.
“You are not going to get away with it, where do you want to take our game? Rugby is being expanded and people of Ngon’g Road must accept that, we are not going to believe small clubs don’t have a say when it comes to elections but are recognised when the Union is seeking grants from IRB.
“The clubs needs us all, they have been doing this year in year out and it must stop,” Achayo protested.
The annual report and consolidated financial statement read by the Union’s auditor’s PKF was trashed after Impala RFC chairman, Oduor Gangla’s moved a successful motion that was seconded by Mombasa RFC’s Joshua Aroni to reject the 2014 accounts and allow the new office to appoint another auditor.
It was also agreed that the Union must remit 10 percent of uncommitted funds to clubs starting August, after Gangla’s motion seconded by Kabras delegate was passed.
“There must be equality in distribution of funds, clubs should also be treated the same as the national teams. We want the money to be devolved because they are affiliates of the Union, so if you can work on a budget we can start with 10 percent in the first year, then the second year 20 and third 30,” the Impala boss declared.
KRU, through its Secretary General Eddie Omondi declined Gangla’s motion saying they cannot remit 30 percent of the money every year since they have contractual obligations with sponsors.
The Union agreed to use unattached money like from merchandise, gate collection IRB and Africa Confederation Rugby grants to roll the first phase with 10 percent.
The AGM took place under tight security of four armed police officers, two at the main entrance and equal number at the event after High Court judge Alfred Mabeya, declined to grant the Sasha Mutai faction injunction to stop the meeting.
All officials who elected at February’s Special General Meeting where Sasha Mutao was voted chair including vice chairman Gerald Chege and Secretary General, Jack Okoth did not attend the AGM.
They declared they would not recognise the new officials and board after their injunction plea to stop the AGM was declined by High Court Judge, Justice Andrew Mabeya on Tuesday morning.
In his ruling, the judge termed the stop order prayers malicious since the Mutai faction had not been barred from running for office.