FKF term limits two, but Mwendwa could seek re-election twice

Sunday November 19 2017

Belgian Paul Put officially unveiled as the new Harambee Stars tactician replacing Stanley Okumbi. PHOTO | CELLESTINE OLILO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Belgian Paul Put officially unveiled as the new Harambee Stars tactician replacing Stanley Okumbi. PHOTO | CELLESTINE OLILO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Football Kenya Federation in its Annual General Meeting in Mombasa on Saturday adopted a new constitution that limited the terms of its president to two, exercised over four years each.

The Sunday Nation had erroneously reported that the federation’s delegates had passed a three-term limit which was against the 2015 Sports Act.

The new constitution will come into effect in 2020. This means that current president Nick Mwendwa could capitalise on a technicality to remain in office until 2028.

On Saturday, Mwendwa - perhaps in response to a sustained wave of public pressure - led the delegates in changing an earlier proposal in the federation’s  constitution that would have cleared him to run for three terms of four years.

The new law now allows him to remain in power for a maximum eight years (two terms of four years each) in compliance with the 2013 Sports Act.

However, with the new FKF laws taking effect in 2020, Mwendwa can conceivable seek re-election and argue that that would be the start of his new tenure at the federation and he would thus be eligible for another term come 2024.

PROCESS OF VOTING

Voting to pass the new constitution was done by a show of hands and not at the ballot box as is spelt out in the federation laws.

“It is true that I can run for three terms, but that is only because you cannot apply a new constitution backwards. It has to take effect at a specific time, and in our case that will be in 2020,” said Mwendwa. 

The term limits  - which are applicable to all sports organizations in Kenya - were, according to former Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba, specifically included in the Sports Act to prohibit sports administrators who harboured ambitions of “dying in office”.

“We believe in eight years anyone must have achieved what they set out to do. If not, then you may never achieve it,” Namwamba told Nation Sport then.

Besides the term limits, the new constitution increases number of branches from the current 20 to 48 to representing the counties in the country. However, Nairobi County will be represented by two branches.

FKF media manager Barry Otieno argued this would allow for more representation in grassroots football.

The federation currently has a power structure of 20 branches.