Officials locked out as the National Olympic Committee of Kenya goes to poll

By Gilbert Wandera: Thursday, September 28th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Olympics
From Left-Founder SOYA Awards Paul Tergat, suspended Chairman NOCK Kipchoge Keino, NOCK Legal officer Sharad Rao and David Mereka of Mereka advocates during NOCK meeting at Hotel Panari on Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Up to half of the existing officials of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) have been locked out of tomorrow’s elections for various reasons.

Current president Kipchoge Keino will not be on the ballot, leaving the top post to be contested by Paul Tergat and Patrick Karuga Muya from Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF).

Keino’s deputy Ben Ekumbo made a last-minute return to the ballot and is set to defend the first deputy president’s position.

Ekumbo presented his nomination papers last week and will come up against Shadrak Maluki and Nahashon Randiak. But Ekumbo is not guaranteed of vying, as the general assembly has to make a decision on his eligibility before the polls are held.

Equally, Pius Ochieng who resigned as the second deputy president will not contest as well leaving Waithaka Kioni and Jackson Tuwei to fight for the top post.

Current Secretary General Francis Paul will come up against Andrew Mudibo and John Kilonzo.

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Also not defending her post is Nock treasurer Fridah Shiroya who leaves it to Elynah Shiveka and Eliud Kariuki to contest.

Shiroya’s  deputy Steven Soi has been locked out of defending his seat but the official insisted yesterday he will be on the ballot.

“My name will be on the ballot and I am defending my seat,” said Soi.

He said his position is supported by the deliberations of a September 6 extra ordinary meeting of Nock.

“The meeting made it very clear that no federation or individual should be locked out and that is why a decision was made to open up nominations,” he said.

Soi however declined to say what action he will take should he be locked out of the process tomorrow. Soi has a court case relating to last year’s Rio Olympic games where he was the chef de mission.

Two weeks ago, sports registrar Rose Wasike made it clear that individuals with court cases should not be allowed to contest.

Apart from Soi, James Chacha will also not defend his deputy secretary position. According to Francis Mutuku, a candidate for the deputy secretary general position, it is unfair to lock out officials from contesting as this could create problems.

“It had been agreed that everyone be allowed to contest so that we can move forward as a country. My advice to all players is that we rise above ourselves and ensure that this process is completed on Friday,” said Mutuku.

Mutuku urged that even federations that have challenges should be allowed to contest in the elections.

“As much as some of them are embroiled in wrangles, the fact is they are still running sports.  We therefore have to make the best decision to ensure this process is completed,” he said.

Mutuku from Tennis Kenya is up against the experienced Timothy Nabea from Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

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