IOC instructs Kenyan affiliate to hold polls under new constitution

Nairobi, Sep 18 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday instructed its Kenyan affiliate to hold fresh elections under a new constitution by December 31.

This edict was issued after a tripartite meeting between the IOC, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and the government led by the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Hassan Wario held in Lausanne, Switzerland, reports Xinhua.

The meeting was convened in the wake of Wario’s disbandment of NOCK after a series of fiascoes that crept into the Kenyan organisation after the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The IOC ordered NOCK to hold the impending elections under a new constitution, perhaps fully aware of the skewed playing field that favoured the incumbents over their opponents, which was also witnessed during NOCK’s last elections held on May 28, 2013.

Also contentious has been some clauses the Olympic chiefs used to gag dissenting voices and pay themselves honorarium.

The organisation holds its elections every four years to give a fresh mandate to a new office to steer it.

However, NOCK has in the past been accused as operating an “impenetrable cartel”, with some even calling it a fraud.

During the last elections, Kipchoge Keino, 76, was re-elected as the chairman of NOCK after he earned 21 votes to beat former vice-president Alfred Khangati who garnered 10 votes.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the elections came when former Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat was defeated to the NOCK vice-presidency by the chairman of Kenya Swimming Federation, Ben Ekumbo by 24-3 votes.

In similar circumstances, former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Sam Nyamweya pulled out of the race for second vice-president, calling the election “a sham” and left his only rival, the chairman of the Kenya Weightlifting Association, Pius Ochieng, to win the seat unopposed.

This left NOCK to operate without members from athletics and football, two disciplines with giant following in the country.

Nine members of the NOCK board regained their positions, although three officials — former first vice chairman Peter Nderitu, second vice chairman David Okeyo and committee member John Roberts — did not seek re-election.

Francis Paul was elected unopposed as secretary general and Fridah Shiroya held on to her seat as treasurer.

Most would-be contestants find it a waste of time trying to challenge the incumbents, while those who do so always know the tall order lined against them.

–IANS

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