AK and PAAK face-off over Mutwii’s ‘shooting threats’


Athletics Kenya (AK) President Lt. Gen. Jackson Tuwei (L) shake hand with Paul Mutwii, the ...
(FILE)Athletics Kenya (AK) President Lt. Gen. Jackson Tuwei (L) shake hand with Paul Mutwii, the officer in-charge of competition at the Riadha house offices in Nairobi, Kenya on January 28, 2016. Athletics Kenya made statement on various competitions that will take place in the 2016 season which included; preparation for National cross country championship, IAAF World indoor championship, World half marathon, Olympic marathon team, World youth championships and plans to curb doping menace. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

A fresh row is brewing between Athletics Kenya and rivals Professional Athletes Association of Kenya over alleged shooting threats uttered by federation vice-president, Paul Mutwii in Machakos.

It is claimed the veteran administrator and AK Southern Branch chairman warned that any PAAK member who will attempt to force their way to the federation’s Riadha House headquarters will be shot by the armed security deployed to guard the premises round the clock.

Police officers were stationed at Riadha in May to fend off another planned siege by PAAK following the 48-hour blockade on the premises last November that crippled the organisation.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, PAAK Southern Region chairman, Phillip Muia claims he now ‘fears for his life’ following the utterances that were supposedly made in his presence during the funeral of former marathoner Martin Mukule’s son.

When contacted, Mutwii who succeeded the suspended David Okeyo as AK vice-president scoffed at the allegations, terming them ‘baseless’.

“We had attended a burial meeting to console Mukule who had lost his son, that’s when the vice president stood up to address the mourners. That’s when he started to verbally attack me and threatening PAAK members’ intent on attacking Riadha house.

“He said that athletes do not support the attacks at the headquarters which are under tight security and they have got guns which they are afraid to use on any PAAK member who will be found idling around.

“That made me fear for my life and that of my members since they are now all aware of these remarks. Mutwii and I have been rivals in the Southern Region since we both have athletics interests in the area,” Muia claimed.

“What would any PAAK member be doing near the premises and what is of interest to them there? Muia has no different with politicians who were arrested for hate speech. He is just making accusations that are baseless.

“Let him provide evidence and the time and place I made the threats,” the AK vice-president challenged alluding to the eight local Members of Parliament who were detained for three days and released on bail on Friday on charges of making inflammatory utterances.

 

“If they want an official statement they can come to AK but if it’s on a personal interest they can reach out to me,” he charged.

On Friday PAAK Organizing Secretary; Julius Ndegwa says he called Mutwii who ‘confirmed’ the threats.

“I got several disturbing calls from athletes from the southern region fearing for their lives. When I called Mutwii, he did not deny the accusations and even offered to make the threat again if need be before hanging up on me.

“So I called Barnabas Korir (Nairobi AK chairman) who did not agree with Mutwii’s actions. However, Korir asked us to forgive him since a lot is at stake and can even disorganize Olympics preparations.

“The life of athletes comes first and Olympics is not more important than their lives.  As an organization we are going to write to the IAAF explaining what’s going on with AK,” the outspoken official who led last year’s Riadha House siege added.

 

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Story By Charity Wanja
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