The Star (Nairobi)

30 May 2013

Kenya: Incumbent Back

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) incumbent returned in office unopposed as the opposition was swept aside during the polls held yesterday in a Nairobi Hotel.

First vice chairman Ben Ekumbo and Pius Ochieng were the only newcomers replacing Peter Nderitu, who retired and David Okeyo who pulled out. Ekumbo won the seat after beating AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat 24-4. Three votes were declared spoilt. Sports commissioner, Gordon Oluoch pulled out of the race at the last minute

Kiplagat immediately lashed out at the structure of NOCK and said it needed an overhaul. " I concede defeat but the structure and mode of doing elections must change. It's old and archaic and going forward it needs an overhaul if we are to become a world class sports country," noted Kiplagat.

He said the tribal factor might have been in play at the elections. "From what I have gathered, I think the delegates would not have liked to have two people from the North Rift and I think they stuck with Kip instead. I live to fight another day," he added.

Pius Ochieng was elected second vice chairman unopposed after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman Sam Nyamweya withdrew his candidature, branding the elections as sham and with no level playing field for the candidates.

Chairman Kipchoge Keino easily retained his seat after beating challenger and former Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) chairman Alfred Khangati 24-10. An angry Khangati pointed an accusing finger at the outdated NOCK constitution. " How can we have a level playing field when members in the executive have a head start of 13 votes. The constitution needs to be changed to give everyone a level playing ground," added Khangati. NOCK secretary general, Francis K Paul returned unopposed.

Assistant secretary general, James Chacha retained his seat narrowly edging out Njeri Onyango 17-14 in a closely fought election.

Treasurer Fridah Shiroya trounced Elynah Shiveka by 20-11 votes with Stephen Soi retaining the assistant treasurer's position after bagging 22 votes against the opponent John Kameta's nine in landslide win for Soi.

Kenya Lawn Tennis Association (KLTA) chairperson Paurvi Rawal was elected woman representative after bagging 19 votes to FKF's Rachel Kamweru's 12 votes

Former world marathon record holder, Paul Tergat retained the Athletes male representative position after bagging 20 votes--beating Commonwealth Games freestyle swimming champion, Jason Dunford who got 9 votes with two votes spoilt.

Former 800m world champion Billy Konchellah was eliminated on a technicality having not taken part in the either of the last three Olympic Games in accordance with the rules.

Former world marathon record holder, Tecla Loroupe was elected unopposed after the women athletes representative after her rival Edna Rotich withdrew at the last minute.

Four-time Boston Marathon champion, Catherine Ndereba, Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) chairman Resham Bains and Anna Njambi--retained their seats as committee members.

Bains garnered the highest votes with 22 followed by Ndereba (21) and Njambi with (19). Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA) secretary Andrew Mudibo got 12 votes with Judo's Shadrack Maluki getting 9. Seifudin Patwa of Kenya Canoeing Association bagged 6 votes and Charles Nyaberi bagged a paltry four. A total of 18 federations and 13 NoCK committee members took part in the exercise.

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