Shikanda: There is no leadership lacuna at Leopards


(FILEAFC Leopards fans follow action against Nzoia United FC during their Kenyan Premier League match ...
(FILE)AFC Leopards fans follow action against Nzoia United FC during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on April 01, 2017. AFC Leopards SC won 2-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • AFC Leopards president elect Dr Dan Shikanda says the journey to restore club's faded glory is on despite early leadership challenge he's facing in his tenure.
  • Shikanda, who was elected to succeed Dan Mule in June 2019, has not settled fully at the den as the Registrar has failed to issue him with the certificate, citing anomalies in the electoral process.
  • However, Shikanda has maintained he was fairly elected and his plans for the Leopards are firmly on course.

AFC Leopards president elect Dr Dan Shikanda says the journey to restore club’s faded glory is on despite early leadership challenge he’s facing in his tenure.

Shikanda, who was elected to succeed Dan Mule in June 2019, has not settled fully at the den as the Registrar has failed to issue him with the certificate, citing anomalies in the electoral process.

However, Shikanda has maintained he was fairly elected and his plans for the Leopards are firmly on course.

“What we are seeing now is a repeat of an old narrative at AFC Leopards, where a section of selfish people work to derail bonafide officials. The intention is to cause crisis and force steps like interim management bodies which have proved costly to the club over time.

“We are aware the registrar’s demands are motivated by some individuals who belong to that group, but we cannot be shaken. We are doing what must be done to ensure by the time the 2019/20 season kicks off, our team is able to compete well against any top side,” said Shikanda.

Shikanda, who won three league titles with Leopards, admitted perennial club politics have tainted the image of the club to an extent potential new signings are fearing to join the den.

“We have to find a solution to this. It is sad that the effect has trickled down even to players. Some that we were targeting have said the uncertainty of calmness in our leadership scares them.

“We have to centralise the management so that we don’t have voices of people pulling in different directions sending sensitive information to the public,” averred the former Kenyan international.

Among individuals Shikanda has cited for blam is former club co-chairman Matthews Opwora for meddling in Leopards’ affairs, claiming he’s not even a club member.

Opwora has publicly declared he does not recognise Shikanda as the president, saying the election process was flawed.

AFC Leopards SC players celebrate scoring against Mathare United FC during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on March 10, 2018. AFC Leopards won the match 4-3. Photo/Vincent Ooro/Sportpicha.

Transfer business

Shikanda confirmed the club has released eight players who were part of last season’s squad, regretting losing key figures out of irresponsible conduct by “some purported leaders of ill will.”

“Imagine a player like Cheche (David Ochieng) hearing comments of ethnic discrimination from a person who calls himself a leader?”

He continued: “We are in the process of signing new players and I want to assure fans across the country nothing has stopped because of the electoral questions. We are only affected in one way but that is a test I’m ready to face head on.”

Leopards won the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title over 20 years ago, with management wrangles at the centre of the lengthy uninspiring period.

Shikanda has already admitted the goodwill of a leader at Leopards is not enough to bring back the club’s lost glory, but willingness of the larger family to work as one unit.

Regrettably, he conceded his predecessor Mule was committed to see Ingwe rise again but divisions within the leadership killed his motive.

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