NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – The High Court has allowed the Athletics Kenya (AK) Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for May 13 to go ahead as planned in Nairobi.
Nairobi’s Milimani High Court Judge, Justice J.M Mativo granted prayers by the petitioner, the 1991 Tokyo World 10,000m champion Moses Tanui and other athletes of allowing the meeting to be convened but barring elections from taking place on that day.
“The court has granted the petitioners their prayers of blocking the elections during the AGM but proceed with general meeting as scheduled,” ruled Mativo.
The Judge ruled that the hearing of the case will be done on July 19, 2017, and ordered the local athletics governing body AK’s lawyer Elias Masika to submit to the court an amended petition within seven days.
However, the petitioners lawyer Kibe Mungai didn’t object to the AGM taking place as long as the elections were not among the items on the meeting’s agenda.
Tanui a two-time Boston Marathon champion and nine other runners are challenging the validity of the forthcoming AK national elections which were scheduled for May 13.
Tanui sued the local athletics governing body AK, together with the 1997 Athens World 3000m steeplechase champion Wilson Boit Kipketer, Susan Sirma the two times All Africa Games 3000m winner and the first black African woman to win a track and field medal at World Championship or Olympic level and former World cross country runner Hosea Kogo.
Others are the 1988 Seoul Olympics 3000m steeplechase champion Julius Kariuki, 1992 Barcelona Olympics 800m silver medalist Nixon Kiprotich, 1987 All Africa Games 10,000m gold medalist Leah Malot, a three time national champion Mary Chemweno, the 1999 Seville World 3000m water and jump gold medalist Christopher ‘Jogoo’ Kosgey.
On April 29, Justice Chacha Mwita, put on hold the ongoing grassroots elections that had commenced on April 27 pending hearing and determination of an application filed by the retired athletes.
Justice Chacha issued the order after the athletes told him that they were apprehensive because any elections carried out under the current constitution will produce flawed electoral results that do not reflect their will and that of stakeholders.
The elections at the ward level which took place on April 27 were expected to culminate with national polls slated for May 13.
Sub-county level elections were scheduled to be held on May 2 and May 6 respectively while the regional elections were to be held on May 9, 2017.
In solidarity with the petitioners, the court session was attended by the Kenya Retired Athletes Welfare Association (KRAWA) officials led its chairman Vitalis Emurian, Professional Athletics Association of Kenya (PAAK) executives, five times World Cross Country champion John Ngugi and the 1972 Munich Olympics 4x400m gold medalist Robert Ouko.