NAIROBI, March 16 – Nondescript chairman Thomas Opiyo was elected Kenya Rugby Union vice chairman for a two-year term after flooring incumbent Philip Jalang’o in a peaceful Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds on Wednesday evening.
Opiyo garnered 34 votes against Jalang’o’s 21 to be second in command to chairman Richard Omwela.
Speaking when giving his acceptance speech, Opiyo promised to bring change that will benefit the clubs.
“This is the beginning of the work. The members have decided we want the corporate back and that’s the voice that counted in today’s elections.
“I’m elated with what has happened but it has been a long stretch. In the past two years, we have been going round in circles I hope now we can move the game forward. We expect when we get to the board there will be less acrimony and the new elected officials will work with the existing board so that we move in the right direction,” elated Opiyo stated.
“We want to bring back sponsors and have a functional board that will work for the clubs because clubs are suffering. This is going to be a new dawn and we hope to see change in the game of rugby,” added Opiyo.
Impala RFC boss Geoffrey Oduor Gangla won the Secretary General seat by a landslide after collecting 48 votes to beat former Kenya Sevens Team Manager Steve Sewe, who got only seven votes.
Mombasa RFC chairman Dr Joshua Aroni was elected the Treasurer unopposed after being proposed by Kisii RFC and his club.
The biggest casualty of the evening was Dennis Ombui, who failed to defend his Director’s seat after only managing six votes.
Masaku RFC chairman John Kilonzo collected most votes (41) to grab one of the two Director’s post while KCB RFC’s Moses Ndale amassed 31 votes to retain his seat.
Meanwhile, Omwela has disclosed that he was going to quit if some members of the board were elected back to the board.
“It is true, I had written a letter and I was going to resign if some members of the board were elected. This is the worst board I have worked with, everybody pulling in different directions.
“But I’m happy that we have brought change, one which I had promised to our sponsors and I hope we will work together,” Omwela declared.
In the AGM, the delegates adjourned the third agenda of the meeting for 14 days, which was to receive and adopt the balance sheet and statement of accounts for the past year.
The members said the balance sheet was not signed by the board nor the auditors with Omwela defending the board, saying they did not find time to meet and append the signatures.
The members requested Omwela to adjourn the motion with a new notice for a Special General Meeting to be issued tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss the motion.
The election was overseen by National Olympic Committee vice Secretary General James Chacha and Charles Nyaberi from the National Sports Council, who was also the returning officer.