‘Team Change’ ousts Jalang’o as KRU vice-chair

Kenya Harlequins chairman, Mike Lucas, addresses the press in Nairobi on March 9, 2016 when clubs caucus ...
Kenya Harlequins chairman, Mike Lucas, addresses the press in Nairobi on March 9, 2016 when clubs caucus announced five of their candidates for KRU polls. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.co.ke

Phillip Jalang’o has finally been ousted as the vice-chairman of the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) as the self-styled ‘Team Change’ representing the clubs caucus installed four of their candidates to leadership positions in elections that concluded on Wednesday night in Nairobi.

Seasoned Jalang’o, who has survived suspensions and power-play intrigues at the Union, was finally removed after losing to Thomas Opiyo by 34 votes to 21.

Fifty-five voting members drawn from Kenya Cup and Nationwide elected officers and members of the board at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) that begun with Agenda 3, the reading and passing of the Union financial accounts, being curiously deferred to a later Special General Meeting.

Inspired by the outfit that brought Nick Mwendwa to the helm of Football Kenya Federation, the club’s caucus that dubbed itself ‘Team Change’ resolved to wrest control of the Union from current office holders to the hands of the clubs with Jalang’o the biggest casualty after being floored by Nondies chairman, Opiyo.

The sweep was completed when Geoffrey Gangla of Impala Saracens trounced former holder, Steve Sewe by 47 to 7 in the race for Secretary General whilst Mombasa RFC boss, Joshua Aroni went in as Treasurer unopposed.

Masaku RFC chairman John Kilonzo polled 41 votes to win a Director’s seat but his Top Fry Nakuru RFC counterpart, Ali Jabri (26) narrowly lost out to incumbent Moses Ndale (31) for the second Director’s position to become the only ‘Team Change’ casualty in the exercise.

Ndale is the fixtures secretary at the Union.

All the focus was whether Jalang’o a shrewd operator who beat Sasha Mutai to the post in 2014 would survive the wave against him on Tuesday.

In April last year, soon after the re-election of Richard Omwela as chairman, KRU cracked the whip on two perceived errant directors with the suspension of Jalang’o and the forced resignation of former, Secretary Eddie Omondi.

The two officials were adversely cited in an audit into 2014’s Safaricom Sevens and Bamburi Rugby Super Series scandals where they were implicated in financial impropriety in awarding service contracts and procurement.

“The KRU Board received the forensic audit by PKF Consulting and pursuant to the Board Minutes of 20th October, 2014, the Board has suspended vice-chairman Phillip Jalang’o with immediate effect.

“The suspension, pending a resolution of the Special General Meeting (of) the KRU, is based on results of the PKF forensic audit which has been ongoing since January this year. The report was tabled at the board meeting of 29th April,” a statement from the Union read at the time.

But Jalang’o fought back claiming the move to suspend him was unprocedural.

“The suspension letter does not explain due course for the action and it is just the politics going on at KRU. They did not cite which part of the constitution the suspension is based on and it does not even allow fellow board members to take such action against another,” Jalang’o explained at the time.

He proceeded to produce a copy of the court judgment delivered by High Court Judge, Justice Isaac Lenaola that overturned his suspension by immediate former chairman, Mwangi Muthee in 2013 that read in part, “The decision to suspend him (Jalang’o) was in contravention of Articles 10.8 and 10.2.2 of the Union’s Constitution.”

In 2013, Jalang’o was also suspended as the Director of Elite Performances by the regime then headed by Mwangi Muthee.

“Further to the KRU board meeting held on Monday 27th May, 2013 at the Kenya Rugby Union offices the Board suspends Mr. Philip Jalango, Director National Squads and Elite Performance from the board with immediate effect.

“He is therefore not authorized to act or speak on behalf of Kenya Rugby Union &/or its affiliates pending a disciplinary hearing. He is further suspended from participation in any Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) sanctioned activities.

“The National Squads and Elite performance committee has been reconstituted with Mr. Gabriel Ouko as the Convener,” the statement from the Union confirming that suspension read in full before he bounced back and won the Vice-Chairman’s post in 2014.

 Report by Mercy Rop

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