Kenya: Tribunal Rules Mwendwa Remains FKF President Legally

Nairobi — Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa breathed a sigh of relief, after the Sports Disputes Tribunal on Thursday ruled that he legally remains in office, throwing out charges of contempt of court levelled against him.

This was as the Tribunal called for a round table virtual meeting between all parties on June 2 to discuss the roadmap to elections to ensure that a legally elected office runs the Federation.

Sports Journalist Milton Nyakundi and other interested parties had gone to the Tribunal claiming Mwendwa continued to discharge duties as the Federation boss, stating that his term had come to an end and was not legally in office.

However, Ohaga on Thursday ruled that Mwendwa is legally in office and will remain so until after the elections.

"The Tribunal at paragraph 123 of its decision of 17th March 2020, recognized that Article 43(2) of the FKF Constitution 2017 provided that the President of the Federation stays in office until the next president is elected into office," Ohaga's ruling reads in part.

It adds; "It becomes clear, therefore, that the President of the Federation cannot be impeached or accused of contempt in relation to acts or activities undertaken in the ordinary course of carrying out duties and responsibilities which are attendant to this position."

"This include being the spokesman and legal representative of the Federation as well as supervising the work of the secretariat and the relations between FKF and its members and other organizations," it further stated.

Nyakundi's team had also called for the Federations bank accounts to be frozen and its assets seized, claiming that the out-of-office Federation could swindle money and destroy assets.

In his ruling on March 17, Ohaga had asked for FIFA to intervene and form a caretaker committee to run Kenyan football with the elections quashed for a second time.

FIFA turned down the request and instead said they will initiate talks between the Federation, Government and Tribunal to find a solution to the debacle.

At the same time, Ohaga stated that the National Executive Committee (NEC) is not in contempt of court as the petitioners had failed to substantiate how they had continued to discharge duties despite the March 17 ruling.

Nyakundi and the interested parties had also asked the Tribunal to as the Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed to invoke Article 54 of the Sports Act 2013 to appoint a caretaker committee to run the Federation.

However, the Tribunal stated that it was not interested in taking that route.

Meanwhile, FKF Secretary General Barry Otieno risks a seven-year jail term for perjury if the Tribunal ascertains that a letter allegedly authored by him to FIFA to protect the Federation from the Tribunal is found authentic.

Nyakundi and his team had claimed Otieno wrote the letter to FIFA's Chief Member Associations Officer Veron Mosengo-Omba and the Tribunal says if indeed it's true, then that would be undermining the Tribunal.

"The Panel directs the Secretary to the Tribunal to take appropriate steps to bring this contested letter of 18th March 2020 addressed to FIFA to the attention of the appropriate authorities and to request that a full investigation be conducted into its authenticity and authorship or otherwise, so that necessary further steps can be taken depending on the outcome of the investigations," stated Ohaga.

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