Last Tuesday, the Sports Disputes Tribunal gave its ruling on the pending Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections. It was a 27-page landmark ruling that may be good for this country.
Indeed, elections in this country are a life and death issue. Every candidate is sure to win whether or not he or she has supporters. They usually seem a nuisance to those a heartbeat away from clinching them; they are a gadfly an incessant irritant to the incumbents.
A few weeks ago, those at the helm were crowing about their already ‘technically elected’ positions and the hastily-arranged branch elections witnessed impunity. They were sure to be rubber-stamped as the kosher officials and it was going to be that way!
Well, the sports Tribunal saw the obvious chicanery that we pointed out a long while ago in this same column.
The two officials Elina Shiveka and Edwin Wamukoya, were ineligible to sit in the electoral board virtue of their positions as members of the Sports Disputes Tribunal and having served in the electoral board in the past.
We had argued earlier that it was their duty to just step aside and let the elections go on but we believe that there was a matter of allowances that they really craved for in these rough economic times!
They stayed put and the result is now clear for all to see.
Another nagging concern of the applicants was that the Electoral Code was adopted without the required stakeholders’ engagement and that members of the board were chosen without involving them.
It therefore goes without saying that the incumbents at FKF are at the same time the candidates and the judges of the whole process! They are the elected while they set the rules for the elections and also supervise them without feeling any shame; infamy is beneath them and they would still have stuck therein even if all injustice in the world was meted out to see them there!
The Tribunal saw this very clearly when it ruled: "The tribunal recognises that the FKF is itself a party in both appeals and fully abides by the principles of natural justice that requires that a party cannot be a judge in its own case.
Were the disputes to be referred to any internal organ within the FKF for resolution, it would amount to unfair resolution as there would be reasonable ground to presume bias on the part of FKF." it would be silly to say that FKF should ‘go back to the drawing board’ since that would mean there is a board in the first place! FKF must first create a drawing board which shall be fair to all.
Well, the elections shall come in the near future and we know the incumbents shall try all that is possible to stay in power. All we wish to see is a fair playing ground and that all stakeholders get justice in treatment.
Finally, we do hope that whoever gets to win it shall do so only for the betterment of Kenyan football which has been mismanaged for a long time by the ultra-hungry individuals.
We thank the SDT for a job well done.