End of an era as Nock bosses accept to cede voting rights
The under fire National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) Executive Board has formally ceded its rights to vote in the forthcoming elections that will be held under a new constitution in what signals an end of an era in the crisis hit national body following the Rio 2016 scandal.
It follows the directive from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) announced last week that members of the all-powerful executive led by Dr. Kipchoge Keino had been stripped of rights to cast their ballots at the polls planned for March that left them with no choice but to comply.
It is now up to the Extra Ordinary Meeting that will be held as soon as IOC agrees to the amendments of the final draft of the new constitution that will be sent to them on Monday night to decide if the Nock administration will have voting rights.
The Extra Ordinary Meeting resolutions must command a two third majority votes under the old constitution to adopt the new draft failure to which the polls will be held under the current one.
Nock Executive members agreed to give up their voting rights after failing to reach agreement with the stakeholders on who among them should be permitted to cast their ballot for the incoming office.
The chairman of the Nock Constitution Review Committee and First Vice-president Ben Ekumbo also announced after an informal meeting in Nairobi with affiliate federations on Monday that they will also propose to the IOC to grant disciplines eligible for the Commonwealth Games voting rights.
“Change is inevitable and that is why we have agreed to recognise and enter into a partnership with the federations that are recognised by Commonwealth Games. They shall have voting rights after Tokyo Games. Commonwealth Games are determined by the host country hence they are left out during the voting process,” Ekumbo told the media after the first meeting with stakeholders who included the Interim Nock Executive Committee formed by federations after the Government disbanded the incumbent administration in the aftermath of the Rio 2016 Rio fiasco.
“The Commonwealth Games will be included in the next Special General Meeting and will be given voting rights. We have also agreed to recognise and enter into a partnership with the federations that are recognised by Commonwealth Games Federation and they shall have voting rights after Tokyo 2020 Games,” Ekumbo added.
The sports under the Commonwealth banner will only have a single vote.
Upon recommendation of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly that will be constituted if the draft constitution sails through may elect as Honorary President an outgoing President of Nock upon retirement, the meeting agreed paving way for Kipchoge to play a role in the organisation if he is unable to defend his seat.
The gathering agreed to amend the draft to erase Government interference in running the body by declaring the State shall not be allowed to designate any member (s) of the Committee.
The General Assembly shall ratify an Independent Electoral Board to oversee the Electoral Congress where new Nock officials will be voted in with both genders being fairly represented in the incoming Executive Committee.
Without the voting rights, the 13 members of the current Nock Executive cannot influence the outcome with their fate now lying in the hands of federations who have sought to have them vacate their posts following the Rio 2016 Olympics scandal that has seen four, including Ekumbo hauled in court to face charges.
Perhaps reading the ominous signs, Ekumbo announced his retirement from Kenya Swimming Federation over the weekend ruling him ineligible to seek office.
Nock Second Vice-chairman, Pius Ochieng, Secretary General Francis Kinyili Paul and Executive Officer Stephen arap Soi who was the Chef-de-Mission of Team Kenya to Rio 2016 are also facing charges related to theft of money and kit meant for the team with the four bosses out on Ksh200,000 bail each.
During the meeting, it was also agreed contrary to what IOC recommended that the Women Representative as well as the two Athletes Representatives in Nock would be stripped of voting powers.
The Special General Meeting is going to be held after IOC reviews and responds to the draft Nock Constitution amended on Monday and will admit to membership of the Commonwealth Games disciplines including Netball, Bowling, Squash and Karate.
The final draft was mailed to the IOC on Monday evening to beat the deadline set by the international body in their letter to Nock last week.
Report by Charity Wanja and Elizabeth Mbugua
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