Kiplagat’s U-turn puts party on hold

By DENNIS OKEYO: Thursday, October 22nd 2015 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Isaiah Kiplagat - Athletics Kenya chairperson

Athletics Kenya’s planned farewell party in honour of its long-serving President Isaiah Kiplagat before the end of the year may not take place.

The party, which was initially planned for December, now hangs in the balance after Kiplagat opted to complete his term that expires in 2017.

Kiplagat, who in May contested for IAAF Vice Presidency and lost, has now resumed his official duties after the lapse of a three-month leave. His change of mind puts into disarray plans to organise his send-off.

When he went on leave, Kiplagat appointed Lt Gen (rtd) Jackson Tuwei as acting president, a move that was surprisingly supported by Kiplagat’s critics, who have always called for the confirmation of Tuwei as AK President.

Things have not been smooth sailing in regards to protocol, with most people recognising Kiplagat as the outgoing President.

But Abraham Mutai, the Central Rift Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman and Kiplagat’s close ally, dismissed the committe formed to organise Kiplagat’s send-off, saying it has never been an agenda at the executive committee meeting.

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“Kiplagat has said several times he will be leaving, but that doesn’t mean he will leave this year. Kiplagat leaving the office powers to Jackson Tuwei, as the acting president for three months, was a local arrangement and it doesn’t reflect in the AK constitution.”

“We need someone with a lot of experience to lead is in the 2017 World Youth championship. People are just concentrating in elections because of self-interest and not the world event we are hosting.”

“The Local Organising Committee (LOC) chaired by Tuwei has already presented a budget of Sh1.8 billion to the Ministry of Sports towards hosting the World Youth event, but it has not yet been presented to Parliament for approval,” said Mutai.

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