In a move to deal with the bad publicity surrounding its leadership, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Monday elevated its communication manager Barry Otieno to the position of Chief Executive Officer albeit in acting capacity.
This comes just a day after CEO Robert Muthomi, who is being investigated for allegedly trying to aid the transfer of Sofapaka striker John Avire, stepped aside from his position pending the decision of the FKF disciplinary committee.
"Out of respect, Robert Muthomi has asked to step aside from his position and we have granted his wish, in the hope that he will in time be vindicated.
"The FKF emergency committee met yesterday and resolved to have Chief Communications Officer Barry Otieno act as CEO of the federation while Robert is away because FKF functions must continue to execute his mandate," said Mwendwa during a presser at Kandanda House.
On Friday, FKF confirmed that they have opened proceedings against the CEO who had earlier on admitted to writing a letter to the Egyptian embassy asking them to process Avire’s visa. This was just eight days after the striker, who is contracted to Sofapaka until December 2020, had been in Egypt as a Harambee Stars player.
More importantly, this matter is said to have angered president Mwendwa, who grew scared of the media backlash that followed and worried about the impact it would have on his re-election campaign, as well as the spotlight it shone on pre-existing allegations that top FKF officials were influencing squad selection at the national team.
As he read out the decision of the FKF emergency committee at Monday’s presser, Mwendwa, who was flanked by his deputy Doris Petra, cut a forlorn figure and looked deeply disappointed.
Those close to him indicate that the decision to offload Muthomi from his secretariat, and to settle for the unfamiliar Barry, was arrived at after intensive consultations which involved lengthy, heated meetings, some of which lasted deep into the night.
It signified the first cut of his long standing relationship with Muthomi which, although transactional, had been without aggression for the four years the two have been in office.