NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Despite the call-off of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) elections, top federation officials maintain there will be change in the umbrella body.
The election was set to be conducted on Friday but it aborted after the Kenya Taekwondo Federation obtained a Court Order stopping the process pending hearing of the case on Monday.
On top of the Court Order, NOCK received two injunctions from the Sports Dispute Tribunal, one barring Badminton’s Anna Njambi from participating in the elections while the second was restraining the Taekwondo and Kenya Cycling Federations from the polls.
However, despite registering disappointment, top federation officials from Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Athletics Kenya (AK) and Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) are optimistic the election will be conducted soon after the court makes its ruling on Monday.
KRU boss Richard Omwela blasted the current National Olympic Committee of Kenya officials, saying they don’t deserve re-election.
“As far as I know what was stopped was the elections which is number 11 in the agenda I didn’t see the reason why the meeting should not have dealt with other agendas item so while the court expressed an injunction that the election should not happen we have wasted the whole day,” Omwela lamented.
“I don’t see a resolution being reached on Monday because there are too many vested interests in these organizations right from the sports ministry to the federations. We have always said that NOCK is headed by people who don’t understand sports at all in this country,”
“So for us change is inevitable and it’s a matter of overhauling the entire organization from top to bottom. There is no other short cut for making NOCK work better for us,” the KRU chief stated.
His AK counterpart Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei was upset that the cancellation of elections will delay the process of ensuring Kenya participates in the Commonwealth Youth Games to be hosted Bahamas in July.
“We were expecting to finish this exercise that started last year when we passed the constitution so it’s unfortunate that it cannot continue beyond today. There are many programs pending because they should be guided by NOCK,” Tuwei declared.
“So we don’t know where to go to. We have the Commonwealth Youth Games coming up next month, so who is going to organize that? Or are we going to leave that chance and let it go? We hope that it will be resolved within a short time and we look forward after next week to get the way forward.”
On his part FKF president Nick Mwendwa slammed the Taekwondo Federation for going to Court, labeling them as ‘enemies of change’.
“Elections bring to the table circumstances that were unforeseen but eventually the will of the people will be heard. So for me this is just a phase in the change that we are bringing to NOCK. People will go to court, they will get orders so for me it’s normal,” Mwendwa asserted.
“We just need to be patient for that to end and we deal with the elections. They have gone to court but there will be an election whether it’s today or in a month’s time. In what we do trying to bring change, there is always resistance but they nominally don’t make it. As FKF we want to go the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and that’s why we are participating in this process.”
Elina Shiveka, the Kenya Hockey Union vice chairperson, who is vying for the treasurer’s seat condemned the Taekwondo Association for rushing to court yet they are not registered as required by the Registrar of Sports.
“We are people who believe in the rule of law. Since the court gave that injunction, we respect it but it’s just a matter of time the elections will be held because the interparte hearing will be held on Monday and we are sure that whatever the information the judge had was not enough. We are going to give all the necessary documents,” Shiveka told Capital Sport.
“We must respect the law because the Sports Act is very clear that you must be registered under the law of this country so if you are an illegal entity and you are rushing to court its very unfortunate. Everybody has seen what has been happening since the Rio Olympics so it’s just a matter of time. Fresh NOCK, new dawn,” concluded Shiveka.