NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18- Mwamba RFC will be without experienced player Horace Owiti for the remainder of the National Sevens Circuit after the player was handed a four-month ban from all rugby activities by the Kenya Rugby Union judicial commission.
Owiti who made his first appearance of the season for Mwamba during the Kabeberi Sevens on September 9 is accused of insulting a match referee after his side’s group match against Nondies on day one of the tournament.
According to the judicial proceedings, the referee’s report stated “…The above Mwamba player tackled an opponent from an offside position at a quick penalty take. After the game, Horace Owiti approached me and insulted me in Kiswahili ‘Shenzi’…”
The KRU judicial commission found Otieno in breach of World Rugby Regulation 20.4b by way of engaging in conduct that would bring the Game into disrepute and did not uphold the spirit of the Laws of the Game (in breach of clause 1.2 of the Code of Conduct).
World Rugby Regulation 20.4(b) defines Misconduct to include: Acting in an abusive, insulting, intimidating or offensive manner towards referees, assistant referees, Citing Commissioners, members of Disciplinary Tribunals or other officials or any person associated with the Host Union, the Rugby Body or the Unions participating in the Match or spectators.
In his defense however, Otieno, a former Kenya Sevens player said he had directed the words to an opposing player, but the referee denied the claim saying there was no other player in close proximity when the words were uttered.
Otieno who was present during the hearing later said that being a high pressure game, he lost his cool and may have mumbled the words at the referee when he went to clarify his call and that the intention was not meant to undermine.
It comes as a huge blow to Mwamba who have had a hugely under-achieving season, having failed to sparkle with most of their key players already missing.
The experienced duo of Humphrey Kayange and Collins Injera are yet to play while their younger brother Mike Agevi picked up an injury during their season opener at the Driftwood Sevens in Mombasa.