Kenya: FKF Branches Insist on Grassroots Polls

21 January 2020

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) sub-branches are up in arms with the federation's national office for "ignoring" a directive from the Sports Registrar to ensure that grass-root elections take place first before the branch polls are held.

Various sub-branches have been holding their special general meetings to discuss the electoral code and make amendments.

Among the changes they are advocating for is that FKF conform to the Kenyan Constitution and turn all their branches into 47 counties as well as the set up of a county sports association.

Sports Registrar's ruling

Three sub-branches drawn from Nairobi West FKF branch -- from Dagoretti, Starehe and Westlands -- convened their respective special general meetings and resolved that all clubs must first meet the Registrar of Sports' ruling on compliance before they are allowed to take part in the forthcoming polls.

And all sub-branches must be allowed to vote in officials who will then elect their county representatives.

In Dagoretti, the delegates took issue with the federation's national office for what they termed as intimidation towards their clubs and referees who claimed that they have been banned from football activities for engaging in the Extreme Super Eight League and Left Foot League tournaments.

Referees, led by former Kenyan Premier League match official Amos K. Ichingwa and club officials, called upon the national office to ensure a level playing ground and all perceived suspensions are lifted.

This comes ahead of a notice by the national executive committee calling for a formal special general meeting to be held on January 28 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi whose agenda is the adoption of the electoral code and an election board for the repeat polls.

The Sports Disputes Tribunal, led by John Ohaga, nullified the initial elections ordering FKF to engage all stakeholders and come up with a road map before fresh election take place.

Long time football administrator, Isaac Macharia, who attended the Dagoretti meeting, added that football clubs from the grassroots have been instrumental in producing the current crop of players and it is sad that the federation's leadership, under Nick Mwendwa, "has decided to ignore the sub-branches," adding that clubs from Dagoretti must be allowed to exercise their rights in electing their football administrators.

Macharia, a former founder member of Mathare Youth Sports Association's Githurai Zone, also played for Kakamega United of Dagoretti as goalkeeper.

The former sponsor of Soccer Sisters, Kangemi All Stars, Mathioya United and Murang'a United is the current Managing Director of BABS Security Group. "It's time to have the right systems and the right football management for Kenya to prosper," said Macharia.

Public participation

After the federation's national office issued a notice to convene a Special General Meeting for January 28 to chart the way for the repeat elections, cracks began to emerge.

This was after various stakeholders voiced their concerns over what they termed as blatant disregard of the ruling by the Sports Disputes Tribunal.

While cancelling the elections the Sports Registrar had advised the federation first to align itself with the Kenyan Constitution and establish 47 branches as opposed to the current format.

Secondly they were to conduct a countrywide public participation exercise to allow all its members to amend the current electoral code of conduct.

The federation has since presented the same code of conduct that had been rejected and no input has been injected from the stakeholders.

However, the glaring violation of the ruling is the absence of sub-branches from the electoral process.

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