Judge orders top officials of Athletics Kenya to leave office

President of Athletics Kenya Jackson Tuwei. [File, Standard]

Athletics Kenya officials have suffered a major blow after the High Court in Nairobi ordered them to vacate office.

Judge L. N. Mugambi, in the judgment delivered yesterday, said the officials, led by its President Jackson Tuwei and the Executive Committee of Athletics Kenya, who have been in office for eight years since the coming into force of the Sports Act, have served their term in full.

Justice Mugambi further said the officials are not eligible to contest for any position in Athletics Kenya.

“An order be and is hereby issued that by dint Sections 46 and 49 of the Sports Act and the second schedule thereof, the officials and Executive Committee of the first respondent who have been in office in office for a cumulative period of eight years since the coming into force of the Sports Act have served their terms in full and must forthwith vacate office. They shall be ineligible to contest for any position in the organisation,” read the judgment in part.

The judge ordered AK to conduct a further review of its constitution adopted on April 27, 2016, within the next 90 days.

Public views

The ratification, according to the court, should consider public views gathered during AK's last review for purposes of enhancing inclusivity and democratic representation of various players in the athletics discipline into the organisation's top decision-making organ.

The court issued the orders following a suit filed by Moses Tanui and eight others. 

The respondents were AK officials led by Tuwei, the CS Ministry of Sports, Registrar of Sports, Registrar of Societies, and the Attorney General.

The petitioners noted that in November 2015, AK commenced the process of reviewing its constitution so that its provisions could be compliant with the Constitution of Kenya and the Sports Act. They said the decision to amend the AK constitution was null and void since it was in breach of the Constitution and the Sports Act.

AK’s decision to initiate the process of reviewing its constitution, they said, requires that all national sports organisations registered under the Act be open to the public in terms of leadership, activities and membership.

The amendment of the repealed constitution, they said, was an illegal scheme by the officials to maintain the status quo.

AK, in response, argued that the petitioners never proved how the amended constitution was in breach of the Sports Act.

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