Nock exco declare reelection bids after passing reforms

Dr. Kipchoge Keino when receiving his Olympics Laureate Award
Dr. Kipchoge Keino when receiving his Olympics Laureate Award

The National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) Chairman Dr. Kipchoge Keino said he wishes to leave a ‘lasting legacy’ for the national body as he announced intentions to defend his seat during the May 5 elections.

Kipchoge who has served multiple five-year terms as Nock’s president since 1999 said part of that legacy includes overseeing the construction and completion of their headquarters situated in Upper Hill, Nairobi.

Nock’s under-fire officials on Tuesday voted unanimously to adopt the new constitution during an Extraordinary Meeting with the move paving way for fresh elections after the Rio 2016 Games debacle.

“I wanted to hand over this property as a legacy the National Olympics of this country. Some of the federations do not have offices. They should use that property as there own and the same property will be generating funds and federations will benefit from that,” Kipchoge told Citizen Digital.

The new constitution strips the incumbent Nock executive committee members, including Kipchoge, of a voting monopoly which allowed them to maintain their grip on power.

Under the previous system, the 13 members of the executive committee each had a vote, while the 21 sports associations had one vote per body.

It also allows athletes to run for membership of the executive committee, a departure from the old system where only the heads of national sports associations were eligible to run for office.

Kipchoge will be joined by embattled Nock officials; first and second vice-chairmen Bernard Ekumbo and Pius Ochieng as well as Assistant Treasure Stephen Arap Soi in the race to retain their seats.

Along with Secreatry General Francis Kinyili Paul, the three Nock bosses are facing court action related to the Rio fiasco where charges of theft by servant, embezzlement and theft of kit meant for Team Kenya were preferred by the State.

“Yes I will be defending my seat as the first vice chair,” Ekumbo who resigned last year after serving the Kenya Swimming Federation for 34 years declared.

Soi refused to disclose whether he will be defending his seat but suggested he could opt to run for a different position while Ochieng stated clearly he would be aiming for a re-election.

“We’ll see what happens but I’ll definitely be on the ballot defending my seat and I don’t think that my pending court case should be used against me or my colleagues because we are all innocent until provenguilty,“ Ocheng said.

The executive board and affiliate federations will come up with guidelines on how to conduct the election and give an electorate body to oversee the process in the next one week.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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