Kenya: Ohaga - Mwendwa's Absence of No Consequence

Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) chairman John Ohaga has played down a decision by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa to snub a virtual stakeholders' consultative meeting aimed at deliberating a fresh roadmap towards fresh football polls.

While addressing the forum on Tuesday afternoon, Ohaga explained that Mwendwa was 'merely a potential aspirant' in the polls and thus had a right to stay away.

FKF is required by law to organise its elections with supervision from Fifa and the government through Sports Registrar's office.

But then, Ohaga has twice in the past six months cancelled FKF polls citing irregularities in the way the process was conducted.

"It is not in our desire to entertain further disputes in relation to football elections."We can either wait for Fifa to bring in solutions or when Fifa comes along you show them what you have crafted," Ohaga explained at the forum.

Mwendwa was also handed a huge blow when Ohaga clarified the repeat county polls in March were not legitimate.

"The federation came to the tribunal to interpret the rules of the election. It couldn't go ahead and conduct elections. It is absurd to say elections at counties took place while the federation was seeking a way to understand the rules of the game."

Earlier, Mwendwa explained in a letter addressed to Ohaga that FKF had kept off after consulting Fifa.

But representatives of the Sports Registrar, Kenya Premier League (KPL) Ltd, Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (KEFWA) and aspirants Herbert Mwachiro, Sam Nyamweya, Bonface Osano, Sally Bolo, plus journalists Gilbert Wandera, Robin Toskin, Seth Onsario, and Moses Wakhisi graced and engaged at the forum, which was held via video link.

"It is unfortunate that a main stakeholder (read Nick Mwendwa) has kept off this meeting, but you have the support of all Kenyans. We urge you to help give us solutions. We are ready for the elections," said Nyamweya.

Kefwa representative, Jerry Santo urged the forum to prioritize the interests of footballers, while planning for the polls, whilst the Kenyan Premier League representative urged the SDT to fast track the repeat polls and ensure they are held by August.

The Sports Registrar requested to be involved in the drawing up of the prospective register of those eligible to vote in the elections.

Journalist Milton Nyakundi, who has been an interested party in the football election-related cases since December, doubted the Electoral Board's capacity to conduct free and fair elections and urged that a more experienced team, which he referred to as an Election Bureau, be set up to draw the register and count the votes.

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