Amahwa: Fresh ‘Mr. Moneybags’ seeking Leopards throne
Maurice Amahwa can be termed as the new kid on the block in the race for the top seat at AFC Leopards having entered the fray as the chairman of Mombasa Branch.
The well-heeled contestant has caused ripples at the Den after embedding himself among supporters with his generosity in funding activities such as funerals and away trips to Kisumu, Machakos, Mumia and Mombasa cheer the team in away matches.
He is also known to hand out cash incentives to the team whenever the boys deliver key victories such as their first leg Kenyan Premier League 1-0 defeat of arch rivals Gor Mahia where he gave Ksh100,000 to be divided among the players.
The man who pioneered the Mombasa branch says if elected, he will initiate a cashless system to curb loss of gate collections, establish a pension scheme for players and set up a club house to generate internal revenue.
If elected,he is planning to work with integrated communications firm; Safaricom, to set up a direct response system to help fans get to know anything they want from the club by asking questions.
Using the club’s banner, Amahwa pledged to organise tournaments from counties in the western region to be used to as a feeder of young talent to the team besides recruiting more supporters by slashing the registration fee of members from Ksh500 to Ksh100.
Opwora dismissed his bid for the top seat insisting Ingwe that is based in Nairobi can not be remote controlled from Mombasa by an employee of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), a charge Amahwa strongly countered.
“Ingwe has not won any league trophy since 1998 yet all the chairmen since have come from Nairobi. Coca-Cola company is the leading soft drink brand world wide, Kenya included yet the owners are living in USA,” the chairmanship contestant scoffed.
“The chairman’s role is to chair and give policies to be followed and Nairobi is not far since I have always been there not by a bicycle,” he added.
The KPA employee has also been accused of working with former Lugari Member of Parliament, Cyrus Jirongo, to ascend to the chairmanship to gain political mileage through the club that enjoys near fanatical support in the vote-rich western region.
“I don’t think its wrong when Amahwa is seen with the club’s patron Jirongo. He is not a Governor, Senator or even an MP and so he has no powers to help me clinch the top seat and so its not and will never be a crime when he supports my campaigns,” he underscored.
Nairobi County Speaker Alex Ole Magelo, Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, Webuye MP, Alred Sambu and former Kanduyi MP Alfred Khamati are some who held leadership positions in the team before ascending to political office.
“When people ask you to vie for a certain post will you refuse? This is a calling for me to save AFC Leopards from darkness and bring sanity in the club which has a massive following in Kenya.
“However, when I do my work perfectly if elected and people again tell me to represent them in politics I will not object,” Amahwa from Isukha, Kakamega County who is open to run for an elective seat in that area in the 2017 General Elections stressed.
“Just the same way they have been paying for themselves to travel to watch Leopards is the same way this will continue and I’m not involved in this because I can not afford,” he claimed on hiring buses to ferry supporters.
Having laid the groundwork for his election by basically splashing the cash, Amahwa hopes to have built a strong wave that will sweep the competition away on Sunday.
The Den however, has not forgotten how Allan Kasavuli swept to power in 2013 at the back of strong financial backing before the cash-taps seemingly ran dry and when sponsors abandoned the team, the former flamboyant chairman threw in the towel in May last year.
Kasavuli’s resignation was the catalyst for the bitter power struggle between factions allied to Opwora and Mule that almost split the team down the middle leading to the Sports Dispute Tribunal brokered truce that gave rise to the Interim Management Committee co-chaired by the duo that has been in charge of the club.
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