After several twists and turns, petitions and counter-petitions dating back to November 23 last year, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections will take place this morning at Safari Park Hotel.
The decision came down to a simple premise, that the petition by a group of parties including former FKF President Sam Nyamweya “lacked merit.”
“The proposition that this would have been futile is misconceived as already demonstrated by our reference to the ‘defection’ of the 2nd Petitioner. We think that this conclusion is sufficient to dispose of the Petition and it is not necessary to delve into all the other arguments that were advanced by the parties. For this reason, the Petition is for dismissing and it is duly dismissed,” Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) chairman John Ohaga said.
The 15-minute ruling on the Petition 10 of 2020 ends months of intrigues, behind the scenes lobbying that at some point put Kenya in the cross-hairs of the world football governing body, Fifa.
When it appeared there was one more turn before the SDT delivered the ruling yesterday, Ohaga temporarily suspended the pronouncement to allow the panel to listen to the grievances of Sports Registrar Rose Wasike contained in a letter she addressed to FKF General Secretary Barry Otieno.
In the letter, Ms Wasike had advised FKF to put off the elections until they had satisfied the provisions of the Sports Act 2013 (Amended 2016) and the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
After spirited presentations by Sports Registrar, the FKF Electoral Board chair Kentice Tikolo and FKF General Secretary Otieno, Ohaga ruled: “The issues raised by the Sports Registrar could be addressed even after the electoral process.
“The SDT is aware that it has had to nullify these elections twice. Tribunal is also cognizant that there have been costs to it. It should be noted that the SDT is there to facilitate free and fair elections. It also notes that there is anxiety around the country.
“Therefore, this Tribunal rules that this issues far outweigh what was raised by the Sports Registrar, which in any case can be dispensed with even after elections,” Ohaga said.
Nyamweya said they will issue their next cause of action in due course.
He, however, said the decision took them by surprise especially after the FKF Electoral Board chair had admitted to the SDT that they have not been touch with the regulator, the Sports Registrar.
When asked by Ohaga whether as the board charged with organising the elections they had been made aware of the correspondences between the Sports Registrar and FKF General Secretary, the Board Chair Tikolo said: “No, I am not privy to the correspondences. However, if there are any issues to be addressed like she has raised, we are ready to sit down with her.”
At the same time, FKF presidential aspirant Lordvick has called for mobile phones or cameras not to be allowed in the polling booths.
Aduda said this after the SDT ruled elections will proceed. He said there are credible allegations of coercion.
“For a free and fair electoral process, the FKF Elections Board is duty-bound to ensure that no phones are carried into the voting booths, no delegate at this level is illiterate and hence the board must not fathom the idea of agents assisting in marking of the ballot papers.”
“We expect the board to provide the necessary and adequate pens and that only the pens provided must be used to mark the ballot papers.”
Wasike insisted she will not accept the returns of a process that does not satisfy the dictates of the Sports Act 2013.