CMD-Kenya denies Nock ‘overstepping’ claims, Kipchoge signs out
The Centre for Multiparty Democracy of Kenya has denied overstepping its electoral mandate as claimed by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) ahead of the September 29 poll.
The CMD-Kenya secretary Irene Tindi emphasised that their job includes overseeing verification and nomination processes even as the Nock Executive Committee (exco) insisted the agency’s mandate is to solely conduct the electoral process.
Tindi stated that her institution has been working in line with the required Kenyan laws and as an independent body as they prepare for the fresh voting exercise on Friday after the May 5 polls suffered last-minute abortion.
CMD-Kenya added that deciding whom to include as candidates or as voters is not part of their responsibility, maintaining that the fate of the new nominees will be decided by the Elective General Assembly.
“Through our verification process we have found issues with several federations. We as CMD have advised Nock as per their constitution which says the General Assembly has the final say in matters regarding the elections.
“As CMD we will bring the federations that have issues before General Assembly for deliberations. However, the federations in question have court cases, so we shall advise them to solve their issues to avoid contempt of court,” Tindi told Citizen Digital.
Nock accused CMD of going beyond their directives as they went on to reveal James Chacha and Stephen arap Soi who were fronted by the embattled Kenya Taekwondo Association (KTA) as candidates.
The two will be seeking to defend their positions as Deputy Secretary General and Assistant treasure respectively. Both were locked out of the previous exercise after their federation was denied certificate of registration for presenting warring factions.
Their fate as candidates is tied up to the trio from Kenya Swimming Federation led by Nock First Deputy President Ben Ekumbo who resigned from his post as the Kenya Swimming Federation chair but intends to defend his current position while Patrick Muyah will challenge Paul Tergat for the presidency. Winnie Kamau will be vying for Committee Member position, which will be decided by the Elective Assembly.
The Sports Registrar Rose Wasike warned the Elective General Assembly if federations that do not have a certificate of Registration will be allowed to vote then she will declare the elections null and void.
The contentious federations include Kenya Rowinig and Canoeing Federation Kenya Weightlifting Association, Kenya Rowing and Canoeing Association, Kenya Cycling Federation, Badminton Kenya and KTA.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has sent Sam Ramsamy as their observer for the elections who will also act as an observer if need be.
In a letter addressed to Nock President Dr Kipchoge Keino and his Secretary General Francis Kinyili, IOC has made it clear that they expect the May 5th meeting to proceed.
“As you know, it is expected that this Elective General Assembly will resume and conclude on Friday, in a serene and peaceful atmosphere, and I count on your personal commitment to ensure that the whole process will be completed successfully, under the full authority of the independent Electoral Board appointed specifically for this purpose, in accordance with the Olympic Charter, your NOC constitution and all previous instructions from the IOC,” the IOC said.
Incumbent president Dr. Kipchoge Keino who opted not to defend the position has meanwhile penned a lengthy farewell letter as his reign spanning close to two decades nears its close.
“Fellow Kenyans, may I say how grateful I am to have served the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) for close to 20 years now.
I took over as head of NOCK at a very turbulent period of our sport, coming as it did after one of the most successful and hardworking coaches during the Kenya golden era, Charles Mukora, unceremoniously exited from NOCK and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
During the intervening period, we managed to win 100 medals at the Olympic Games, 220 medals at the Commonwealth Games and 379 medals at other global competitions.
Thanks mainly to my colleagues in NOCK, we were able to achieve many milestones in local and international sports. Our officials were elected to many continental and international sports federations and confederations.
I am happy to leave behind the NOC-K building at Upper Hill, Nairobi which is in its final stages of construction, which will go a long way in boosting the organizations financial stability and ensuring our federations have offices to serve sports. That is testament to our industry and focused leadership.
Life has many stages, from childhood, adolescence, adulthood and sunset stages or senior citizenship. It is with the same with sports competition and leadership.
I have done it all, I have seen it all. I have done what I was able to do, by the grace of our creator, the Lord, who has enabled me to achieve all this for myself and my country.
I want to say a time has come when I have to exit to another stage of retirement from sport leadership and allow another generation to step onto the stage.
I want to thank my family for bearing with me during my long spells of foreign travel.
I also pay tribute to my colleagues in NOCK, ANOCA and IOC and the governments of the late Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki / Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta for the unwavering support they gave me during my time as an athlete and an official.
The Presidents and Prime Minister Odinga all supported me and my projects and I thank them all most profusely.
I am equally grateful to IOC Presidents, starting with the late Juan Antonio Samaranch, who inducted me into the prestigious position of IOC membership, Jacques Rogge and the current President Dr. Thomas Bach, all of the my personal friends who supported me fully and also supported the Kenyan Olympic movement and Olympians in general. I owe it to you all.
In fact, I spoke to Dr. Bach this week and shared with him my decision to quit the stage for a younger generation. We were in agreement that this is a good decision.
At NOCK, I am particularly indebted to Mr. Mukora, who was my coach during my competitive stage when we announced Kenya’s big arrival on the global stage and the late Tom Omuombo, who was Secretary General of NOCK for a long time.
I also thank the current office for supporting me during my tenure.
I would like to wish the incoming office bearers the best of luck in the top office, but I must advise them to be aware of the high responsibilities that come with the high office and that they must be aware of cartels in sports leadership who may derail them by serving their selfish interests first and relegating national service or serving the youth of this country, which must be upheld at all times, to a secondary level.
It is an office of high integrity and high expectations by the Olympic movement.
I hope they take on the scourge of doping head on, spread the message of fair play and improve athletes’ welfare as their personal and office number one priority.
I wish the incoming officials and Kenyans in general a good future and hope that we shall be meeting often inside the stadiums, in the streets, villages and towns cheering our sportsmen and women.
Long live Kenya, Long live Kenyan sports!”
-Additional reporting by Erastus Muturi and Michael Bowen
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