3 May 2017

Kenya: Elect Officials On Merit to Avoid 'Hyenas' in Nock

column

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya elections are finally here and on Friday, we will usher in a new office. Already, we have a new president in Paul Tergat and I guess this is a fantastic start. The five-time world cross country champion sailed through as the Nock boss unopposed after incumbent Kipchoge Keino failed to submit his nomination papers to the electoral body -- the Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD).

I guess Kipchoge, a legend in his own right, read the writing on the wall and did what stakeholders had wanted him to do all along-- hand over the baton to Tergat.

The former world marathon record holder needs no introduction and I guess he is the man to take Kenya to the next level. The advantage is that he is already a member of the International Olympic Committee and this means we are already catered for at the highest level. But having said that, I think the electorate have to be careful with who they give the mandate to occupy the remaining slots.

I insist that everybody should be elected based on his or her strength and that of the association he or she is leading. We shouldn't just vote people in office because they are in either Tergat's camp or in the "Third force."

This is a mistake we have made over the years and it should not be repeated.

We don't need self seekers. We want people who are ready to prioritize the athlete. For Tergat to function, he will need a strong team especially considering that he is coming in the office hardly a year before the Commonwealth Games.

Some of the officials seeking re-election were deep in the current regime and they remain "hyenas" or "wolves in sheep skin." No one should be elected just because he or she is in the right group.

We promised to give Kenyans a change and they should be able to feel it.

Already, the entire nation is excited because Tergat will definitely be the next Nock boss. However, Tergat needs not to be surrounded by "wolves" because soon we will be talking another language.

I have said in this column before that individuals running briefcase associations should not be part of Nock and the reason is simple.

How can you run an organisation of Nock calibre when you are unable to operate a small federation. It's like seeking to run a wholesale when you can't manage a kiosk.

For some of them, the closest they have been to Olympic Games is at the qualification level, where they failed to make the cut.

Nock is bigger than all of us and we need credible people to lead it.

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