NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – A decision by the Sports Dispute Tribunal to recall two athletes who were selected to represent Kenya in the Commonwealth Games has been temporarily upheld, pending the hearing of a case in which the Kenya Squash and Racket Association seeks to nullify it.
The Association through its lawyer, Katunga Mbuvi, argues that the decision was arbitrary and made too late in the day with barely two weeks into the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Justice George Odunga has directed a temporary stay of the Tribunal’s decision stating that the “leave sought” to file the case operates “as stay” pending the determination of the case filed by the Kenya Squash Rackets Association against the tribunal and an aggrieved player, Khaaliqa Nimji who wanted the selection done afresh.
Veteran lawyer Katunga Mbuvi told the judge that that unless the decision is stayed the players who were selected stand to be harassed based on the decision of the tribunal.
The judge granted an order prohibiting the Tribunal and Khimji from using the ruling to harass and intimidate the members of the Kenya Squash Racquets Association and the players who were selected to represent the country in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games as they prepare to leave to travel to Australia.
Mbuvi has filed a supporting affidavit signed by David Ngunjiri Theuri which states that the complaint which the Tribunal entertained was already overtaken by events since the selection had already been done.
“The resultant tribunal decision therein has caused unrest, confusion and interfered with the applicant members and officials preparation to attend the scheduled Commonwealth games,” Mbuvi told the trial court.
He said the Association did a country wide selection and picked two best players who qualified.
“These two met the conditions and qualifications set by the Commonwealth host country , Australia,” the lawyer said.
He said the Tribunal’s decision would invariably reverse matters.
“There is no way the Association can repeat the pre-trials qualifications because the deadline for reporting and presentation of names was March 7 2018,’ Mbuvi said.
The lawyer said the Tribunal made an arbitrary decision to order re-selections as it did not involve all parties in its proceedings.
Mbuvi has asked the court to render the Tribunals decision void in law and unforceable.
The court will make a final ruling to quash the decision after the parties file their final submissions on March 20 2018.
Justice Odunga said the matter is urgent and directed parties to file their papers by end of business Monday.