As expected, members of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) executive ganged up to ensure a new constitution is not adopted at its extra-ordinary meeting held yesterday.
The situation leaves Kenya facing a ban from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The country will be on the agenda when the international body meets on March 16 and 17.
It was expected that a new constitution would be passed at yesterday’s meeting, following a warning from IOC that dire consequences would follow should this not happen.
However, when the matter was put to the vote, 19 affiliates voted to adopt the document while 13 voted against, denying it the two-thirds majority needed for it to be passed.
A majority of those who voted against the document were members of the NOCK executive who were joined by three other affiliates. This is despite the fact that the new constitution was a negotiated document between the association and its affiliates.
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The action by Nock officials was in total in defiance with a directive from the IOC that required them to vote for the proposed constitution as it had been negotiated over a period of four months.
Following yesterday’s failure to pass the new constitution, Nock chairman Kipchoge Keino said elections would now be held under the old constitution in June.
Nock’s deputy secretary general James Chacha however said it was back to the drawing board, pointing out that they would try and go through the process again.
“Even in 2010 when the country was working on a new constitution, it did not pass at the first attempt. We find ourselves in the same situation and hopefully we can go back to the drawing board and try again,” he said.
Sources at the meeting said Nock officials were determined not to have the document passed as it strips them of voting rights during the general assembly.
Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA) chairman Andrew Mudibo accused the Nock officials of being anti-reformists keen on holding onto power.
“This was a negotiated document that had been agreed upon even by the same officials. It now looks like they were never sincere in the first place and are determined to do everything to remain in power,” he said.
He added: "It is now obvious there will never be any changes in the association unless the executive is stripped of powers to vote.”
Before yesterday’s meeting, the IOC had urged Nock to ensure the constitution was passed after an earlier extra-ordinary meeting aborted last week or the country would face dire consequences.