James Magayi @magayijim
AFC Leopards family head to the polls this Sunday with imminent change of guard in the club’s leadership given after incumbent chairman Dan Mule opted out and secretary Oscar Igaida failed to get clearance from the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB).
In their stead, a crop of fresh blood is poised to take over the running of a club troubled chiefly by the diversity of its fan base.
Volatility in the clubs means Ingwe will get their seventh chairman in nine years when either Ben Musundi, Dan Shikanda or Ronald Namai assume the leadership on Sunday. The club has been steered in the last nine years by Kajiado politician Alex ole Magelo, Ssemi Aina, Julius Ochiel, Amin Walji, Allan Kasavuli, Mathews Opwora and Dan Mule.
Boardroom turbulence have taken a costly toll on the club’s performance on the pitch and Ingwe family are hoping for a clean slate in Sunday’s polls.
Yet the election has been mired by controversy after aspirant Boniface Ambani was locked out for non-compliance with the club’s constitutional requirement of membership. All aspirants must have been duly registered and paid up in the last three years, a clause the title-winning player with 1998 squad did not meet.
He instead, lodged a complaint at the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) seeking interpretation on the constitution employed in organising Sunday polls.
Another disgruntled aspirant also petitioned the Registrar of Sport about the legitimacy of Elections Management Board but Leopards executive committee and the board struck a consensus with the Registrar who then allowed the polls to proceed.
In the driving seat for chairman’s post is Dan Shikanda. The four-time league winner with Leopards holds considerable advantage over rivals and is the man to beat. Shikanda, a veterinary pharmacist by profession got a huge boost in his bid as hordes of Ingwe legends endorsed candidature.
That said, Shikanda must reach out to the 1,002 on club’s register to avoid any upsets from lawyer Musundi who is campaigning on the platform of raising membership to 30,000.
Musundi is little known but having been outgoing chairman Mule’s right hand man and legal eye, his potential cannot be wished away.
Third contestant for the chairmanship Ronald Namai is a former chief executive who knows the club through and through. Namai is banking on a vibrant merchandise business to spur Leopards if elected chairman.
Two new entrants who made their names in the branch networks Oliver Sikuku and Robert Situma are the only names for Ingwe’s next secretary general with equal chances while current treasurer Oliver Imbenzi will fight to save his post from a single opponent in Maurice Chichi.
Kasuku was tournament director for the Crown Paints invitational golf tourney that ran from Tuesday to Sunday last week at the Muthaiga Golf Club.
“We shall be having 42 local professional taking part in the tournament, it will be strictly invitational,” said Kasuku who is looking forward to a great event.
Kasuku is also one of the few accredited race walking referees in the country and one of the very few to have officiated internationally.
He also revealed that with the full implementation of the Sports Fund, the Ministry would be able to access Sh12 billion annually of which Sh4.5 billion would directly go to Department of Sports.
At the same time, AK is taking the war against doping a notch higher by intensifying the sensitization program down to the grass root. The federation has been involved in anti-doping education activities throughout the year to sensitize athletes, coaches, officials and all athlete support personnel on the dangers of doping.
One of the main events introduced was the AK anti-doping day which was launched and its first edition held in November, 2017. The day involves an awareness campaign aimed at sensitizing and educating the athletes and athletes’ personnel countrywide to uphold the philosophy that true winners run clean.
The second edition will be held on 9th November 2018 in Iten grounds, Elgeiyo Markwet where all are invited to join Athletics Kenya in Saying ‘NO!’ to Doping and make the country retain her status in the global sporting arena.
The loss, Malkia Strikers’ fourth on the trot at the Championships, means that the Kenyan lasses return home with their opening day win over Kazakhstan – which was the country’s first ever in the competition.
That tells you that there is a huge gulf in standards between African teams and more so Malkia Strikers’ which has raised a huge concern amongst the faithful of the sport.
This begets the question as to where the rain started beating Kenya in as far as participation in global events is concerned. For starters, Kenya is not devoid of talent and this school of thought is underlined by the fact that some of our players have been voted as the best spikers, receptionists, boosters and back-court players in past events held under aegis of FIVB.
However, suffice to say, there are shenanigans which are playing a big part in such sad state of affairs which are afflicting Malkia Strikers with pundits indicating as much.
Peter Mbogo, one of the most respected coaches in the country, pointed that there is lack of youth structures to serve as a feeder of the national team.
“For a lengthy time now, we have had frailties when it comes to youth programmes and must hit the ground running to nurture players at a tender age and who will serve the national team in future.
We don’t have enough reservoir of talent for continuity due to lack of such programmes and this way, there is absolutely no way we can compete with countries like Brazil which are well in terms of age-group setups,” said Mbogo.
He further said the biggest Achilles heel is players flourishing at secondary school level and later abandoning the game altogether due to lack of guidance.
The tactician who also handles Bahati Volleyball Club also expressed concern that the national teams training for a few hours at the Moi International Sports Centre and which has in turn led to ill-prepared sides in international tournaments.
He also underscored the need of improved motivation to the players by Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) besides giving upcoming coaches a chance to build on their careers and give them a chance to handle the national team.