|Athletics Kenya (AK) President Isaiah Kiplagat and Vice President David Okeyo address journalists. [PHOTOS: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]|
By ERICK OCHIENG’
Embattled Athletics Kenya (AK) President Isaiah Kiplagat has finally ceded ground and will meet with the federation affiliates at Riadha House on Monday.
The two sides have agreed to meet and iron out several issues that have been tearing apart Kenya’s most successful federation in terms of performances at the international championships.
This came just hours after Sports, Arts and Culture Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario declined to support either faction.
Wario, however, ordered the splinter groups to sit together and agree on way forward after his meeting with AK’s National Executive Committee (NEC) members.
The contentious issues that need to be sorted out include the new AK constitution, demand for Special General Meeting (SGM) and new appointments in the federation.
Kiplagat met with the AK NEC at Riadha House in the morning before heading to Kencom House to meet Wario, who directed the two factions to find an amicable solution to their squabbles.
“Following our fruitful discussion with the Cabinet Secretary today, I and the executive members have agreed to meet with the affiliates next week on Monday to discuss and listen to their views,” Kiplagat said.
“We will deliberate on the issues recently raised by both sides before we make another big announcement.”
Kiplagat said only part of the executive will meet with the affiliates on Monday morning before another meeting, where all AK NEC will be involved.
AK Vice President Paul Mutwii confirmed that yesterday’s meeting was very successful.
“Following our agreement with Kiplagat we have requested all the affiliates’ chairmen to assemble at Riadha House on Monday morning for the meeting. We have agreed to listen to both sides and talk openly about the issues creating the rift between us and the federation,” said Mutwii.
Monday’s meeting will be the final attempt by Kiplagat to seek an amicable solution to the federation woes. Already 14 of the 16 affiliates have called for a Special General Meeting on September 26 where they will deliberate on the issues that have been raised.
Prisons Athletics secretary Nicholas Maswai said it was a good move by Kiplagat to agree to listen to the affiliates’ demands, saying it was a step in the right direction.
Earlier in the morning, Kiplagat faced a stormy NEC meeting, which refused to come up with a common stand on what they were to inform the Cabinet Secretary.
This was the clearest indication that Kiplagat, who has reigned over the federation for 21 years, has lost his grip on fellow NEC members as well as leaders of AK affiliate branches.
The federation endorsed its constitution just before the April elections, but affiliates say it doesn’t reflect their views.
The current officials’ four-year tenure will end in 2017.