NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – The Sports Registrar has been ordered to monitor the forthcoming National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and Athletics Kenya (AK) elections.
Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts Hasan Wario issued the orders to Sports Registrar Mary Wasike in ensuring that polls are free and fair.
He said both organisations were very important in the sporting industry as NOCK is the umbrella body of sports federation whereas AK is the goose that lays the golden egg.
“There’s need to ensure that the polls are free and fair so that credible leaders who are voted in fairly where the people’s will prevails,” Wario said.
The Olympics umbrella body will hold its polls on May 5 while for the local governing athletics body is polling on May 13.
Wario said the polls are under scrutiny and closely being watched by their parent international governing bodies where Kenya may risk sanctions if the elections are not transparent, free and fair.
He said his directive should not be mistaken for interference as its in the government’s interest to have fair play prevail adding that they didn’t have a preferred candidate.
The NOCK elections will be overseen by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) where the prospective candidates are picking their nomination papers from the electoral body.
The AK elections will commence on April 27 at the ward level then proceed to the sub county on May 2 before proceeding to the county on May 6 to the regional/branch stage on May 9 and culminating with election of national officials on May 13.
In NOCK, the legendary Hezekiah Kipchoge Keino will be defending his presidency and is expected to get the stiffest opposition ever in the polls at the helm of the local Olympics body from five-time World Cross Country champion Paul Tergat.
The AK elections will be held for the first time in 24 years without the departed athletics supremo Isaiah Kiplagat who during his reign wielded a lot influence to determine the office bearers.
Kiplagat’s deputy, Jackson Tuwei who ascended to power after Kiplagat was suspended by the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2015, will be seeking to get a fresh term as the AK chief where so far no individual has expressed interest in the presidency as other hopefuls jostle for other positions.
Wario warned those federations which have not complied with Sports Act of deregistration and ordering the Sports Registrar to crack the whip.
“There are no sacred cows in sports and for those who do not comply with Sports Act which is the law, should not be spared,” he warned.