Nock off IOC hook as bosses vote to adopt new constitution

Nock Chairman Dr. Kipchoge Keino (C) during the national body's extraordinary meeting. (PHOTO/Charity Wanja)
Nock Chairman Dr. Kipchoge Keino (C) during the national body's extraordinary meeting. (PHOTO/Charity Wanja)

The National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) officials have on Tuesday voted in favour of adopting a revised constitution during an Extra Ordinary Meeting held at the national body’s headquarters in Nairobi.

The new constitution received an overwhelming 29 out of 29 votes as the besieged officials kept their word to back reforms following a financial freeze and possible further sanctions as instigated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

It now paves way for the setting of a date for fresh Nock elections that could spell the end of the long reign of senior Executives led by President and Olympics Laureate, Dr. Kipchoge Keino.

“Thank you all members for your support and we shall have a report sent today,” Nock First Vice-presidents Ben Ekumbo said as he addressed the sitting.

“Let’s embrace this spirit of accepting to do things as required and I wish them (Nock) all the best. Change is inevitable and sometimes I think that’s a good thing.

“I wish to thank the President of Nock especially for the decision he took when IOC was almost banning the country – it was a wise move and that’s the way to go,” Aaron Komen, the Sports Administrator at the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts told Citizen Digital.

The initial reluctance by most of the incumbent Nock Executive to support the constitution stemmed from the fact it bars them from voting during elective assemblies besides imposing a two-term limit.

In the sidelines, Ekumbo attempted to downplay the magnitude of the sanctions that awaited the national body and subsequently the country as he blamed the press for misreporting on the matter.

The official sensationally denied the IOC had withheld all funding to Nock early March in response to a an earlier vote that shot down a vote to amend its constitution.

At the time, in an email sent to Citizen TV the IOC expressed their disappointment with the outcome that went against the tripartite agreement (IOC-NOC-Government authorities) reached in September last year in Lausanne.

Nock second Vice-chairman, Pius Ochieng reiterated they agreed to back the new constitution for the benefit of the country.

“We as the executive at Nock saw that the constitution is bigger than any of us and there was a need to support it and ensure it went through. Last time, people had different interests but after a rethink we felt this – Nock and the constitution – was bigger than all of us. We’ll see what happens but I’ll definitely be on the ballot defending my seat,” Ochieng said.

The Nock Secretary General Francis Kinyili Paul, refused to disclose whether he will be defending his seat as he revealed the national body’s officials would organise their audited accounts before issuing a notice of 21 days that will culminate in the elections.

He is among four top Nock bosses facing court action related to the Rio 2016 Olympics fiasco where charges of theft by servant, embezzlement and theft of kit meant for Team Kenya were preferred by the State.

Chef-de-Mission for Team Kenya to the Rio 2016 Olympics, Stephen arap Soi, First Vice-chairman, Ben Ekumbo and Ochieng are also out on bail on similar charges where millions of shillings meant for the team that posted the best Kenyan performance at the Olympics were squandered.

The election date has been set for May 5.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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