Kenya: Five in the Running for AFC Leopards Top Seat

Former Kenya internationals Dan Shikanda and Boniface Ambani have vowed to not only professionalise operations at AFC Leopards, but also mastermind to reclaim the lost glory on the local and domestic fronts if elected chairman of the club during the forthcoming elections slated for June.

Also interested in the top seat are Kakamega-based businessman Maurice Amahwa, plus Richard Ekhalie and Ronald Namai, both of whom have served as the club's chief executive officer.

These four aspirants are gunning to replace the media-shy Dan Mule, who's indicated he is not keen on defending his seat.

"Our three-year tenure has come to an end and we will be heading to the polls as required by our constitution. We are finalising the membership list which doubles up as the register of those eligible to vote, and we hope to announce the election date this week," explained the club's outgoing secretary Oscar Igaida.

Whoever replaces Mule will have his hands full.

Considered one of the most popular sporting outfits in East and Central Africa, Leopards have struggled on and off the pitch over the past decade and have yet to win a league title since 1998.

The team's operations have also been marred by board room squabbles, clan fights within the larger Luhya tribe, where the club boasts significant support, plus lack of adequate resources to compete with regional peers namely Saint Georges (Ethiopia) Simba SC (Tanzania), TP Mazembe (DRC) Nkana FC (Zambia) and KCCA (Uganda).

"I also played professionally in India, Malaysia, and Tanzania, from where I gathered enough tips to revolutionize the club for the better. I am not using this post as a step towards politics as some of my opponents," says Ambani, who doubles up as the club's youth coach, entrepreneur and Radio/TV pundit.

"We have consistently failed to sign quality players and that's why we perform poorly. (If elected) I have a set up a system in place to sign six quality players at the end of the season. Our performances will improve and this will lure fans back to the stadium," added Shikanda.

Amahwa also had his say, stating; "I intend to approach the Governors in Western Kenya to be patrons and lead the club on a rotational basis. This will help in bringing in support and funding. I will also retain the current technical team led by coach Casa Mbungo. They have done a good job."

Igaida has also confirmed the club members will under the new laws be electing only three officials namely the chairman, secretary general, and treasurer.

Other positions including assistant treasurer and organizing secretary will be done away with.

Two executive committee members will however be co-opted to the management as will the chief executive officer, chief finance officer and media liason officer who will be employed on a contractual basis.

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