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Corruption, chaos at Gor gates could be an inside job

Monday September 23 2019

Gor Mahia fan Jaro Soja (right) and security officers try to restrain fans from entering the pitch during their SportPesa Premier League match against KCB on January 27, 2019 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Gor Mahia fan Jaro Soja (right) and security officers try to restrain fans from entering the pitch during their SportPesa Premier League match against KCB on January 27, 2019 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

TOM OSANJO
By TOM OSANJO
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I wholeheartedly support last week’s decision by our chairman Ambrose Rachier to boycott Moi Stadium, Kisumu because of the perennial shenanigans that some of the so called fans there have been engaging in.

The chairman’s firm, albeit painful, stand was informed by the fact that the club pumps in a fortune in preparing and playing in Kisumu yet when the books of accounts are opened the club takes away peanuts.

I have never attended a Gor Mahia match in Kisumu but if the horror stories I hear from fans who have been there are anything to go by then this decision was in the club’s best interests.

Behaving with the wanton recklessness and impunity of Mussolini’s Brownshirts, these underbreds and guttersnipes hold both the club officials and other fans hostage.

I have heard of cases where you pay for centre stand but when you get into the stadium you are forced to part with more money to be given a plastic chair by the cartels. Who does that?

A good example was the season’s opener against Tusker where the hooligans or “Mafia” as Rachier calls them stage a coup at the gate, causing a huge melee. Armed with what Police spokesperson Charles Owino would call crude weapons, the goons instilled the fear of God into the stewards manning the gates, threatened actual bodily harm to some of the club officials then engaged in what they do best — lining their pockets from gate collections.

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But then again Moi Stadium is notorious for these acts.

Two incidents from 1980s come to mind. In the first instance organisers of the world famous Safari Rally were forced to take Kisumu out of the itinerary after fans stormed the stadium when the drivers stopped there for a short break before continuing with the race. Shouting wadwaro donjo — we want to enter, the miscreants forced their way into the stadium.

The rally organisers, being rational men and women took the necessary action and the people of Kisumu were left to follow the subsequent events on radio and television.

The second incident I remember was when the Congolese lingala maestro Franco went to perform in the lakeside town. A section of irate fans forced their way in, and if my memory serves me well, brought down a section of the perimeter wall while at it. I believe there were shouts of wadwaro donjo too.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not condemning into utter damnation the entire Kisumu fan base. There are a lot of dedicated fans from Kisumu who follow the club all over the country and dutifully pay the gate charges. One particular branch travels in a green and white Toyota van christened Gor Mahia and I have seen them all over giving their all to the club.

I am told the county government has initiated investigations into the matter. However, this is simply tilting at the windmills. The crooks are well known and the best thing to do is to apprehend them and let the law take its course.

Rachier should also do an internal audit, because, from what I hear from fans in the know, some of his own management members are the goons’ sponsors. Just name them and shame them and we see if they will get re-elected.

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