Former Football Kenya Federation vice president Sammy Sholei wants the Sports Cabinet Secretary to constitute a Normalization Committee to oversee the long overdue football elections in Kenya.
There hasn’t been a clear leadership in Kenyan football since February 10 when the term of Nick Mwendwa and his entire executive lapsed.
Kenya was set to go to the polls in December but the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) cancelled the exercise over eligibility criteria after the national sports arbitration tribunal found that the electoral code had not met the required constitutional threshold.
Since then, there has been back and forth in the corridors of justice; currently, Mwendwa’s loyalists have stepped up their legal battle by moving to the High Court.
The commercial courts, have since compelled SDT not to rule on any matter touching on football, until all the three cases filed by people who call themselves “football stakeholders”, in Kericho, Mombasa and Nairobi are dispensed with.
But Shollei who is one of the seven aspirants for the top FKF job has accused Mwendwa of taking football matters to the commercial courts: contrary to Fifa statutes that prohibit such matter to be arbitrated in the ordinary courts.
“Our law of the land (Kenyan Constitution) is supreme to any statute or local association and must therefore be followed without any exemption,” the former Breweries player said of the decision by FKF, through proxies, to move to the commercial courts.
According to Kenyan laws (Sports Act 2013) all sports disputes are to be handled by the SDT but with the so-called ‘football stakeholders’ moving to the commercial courts, Sholei believes that this is not only an abuse of Fifa rules but a larger scheme to undermine the SDT.
“The SDT has been a breath of fresh air to all stakeholders. It has been an avenue for justice in sports disputes and a pillar of hope in the entire industry, the former Kenyan international said in a strong statement.
“It is unfortunate the current FKF office has ‘anonymously’ filed cases in three regional courts to block the SDT from discussing and or handling any football matters.
“To publicly disparage the SDT and its chairman [John Ohaga] is not only petty but (also) malicious and sets a dangerous precedent and arrogance (by FKF) and contempt towards the Ministry of Sports”
With the much overdue elections still dragging, Sholei now wants SC Amina Mohammed to disband the current office and form a Normalization Committee to run football matters until elections are held.
“The delaying tactics by FKF is meant to create an escape from accountability, mismanagement of public resources and orchestrating an illegal electoral process.
“I hereby call upon the CS to exercise her power and implement the Sports Act and with immediate effect constitute a Normalization Committee to clean up the mess that is FKF.”
The SDT ruled that Mwendwa will continue to act as FKF president until such a time that a new executive will be voted into office.
Mwendwa, however, cannot make an executive decision because the tribunal found that the rest of the NEC members had served their full terms, and therefore cannot continue transacting any business on behalf of the federation.