Uncertainty looms at AFC Leopards over the forthcoming general elections as warring faction battle over the process.
The tug of war is between the outgoing office led by Missing in Action (MIA) chairman Dan Mule and aspirants for various seats working under the auspices of AFC Aspirants Caucus (AAC).
It’s feared that the stalemate might end up in court thus plunging the underperforming club into a fresh spell of wrangles that would undermine our preparations for the 2019-2020 season!
While the former insists on putting in place mechanism for the exercise scheduled for June 23, the latter dismisses the process as flawed and meant to rig back the incumbent into office.
Led by Richard Ekhalie, a former CEO and a contender for the chairmanship seat, the caucus is accusing the outgoing National Executive Committee (NEC) of purporting to take the club to an election without an operational constitution.
This, they claim, is contrary to instructions issued to them in May 2018 by the Registrar of Sports, to inter alia align the constitution to the Sports Act and the Kenyan constitution. Through a letter to the club, the Registrar of Sports gave the club three months from May 1917 to align or risk deregistration.
The caucus, whose other members include AFC Leopards Rescue Team chairman Maurice Amahwa, Dan Shikanda, Boniface Ambani, Vincent Shimoli and Nelson Amendi among others, point out the issue of amendments made on the by laws in 2017, that, apart from going against provisions of the Sports Act and Kenyan constitution of disfranchisement, did not spell out a clear transition clause to operationalise them.
That would in itself render the amendments ineffective in the forthcoming elections as they would have to be operationalise first by club members before taking effect.
The controversial amendments among others fixed the number of paid up consecutive membership of office bearers to three from one and that of voting members at Annual General Meetings (AGM) at two years from one.
That’s the core of disfranchisement as it takes away members inherent rights to choose their leaders or seek elective office as embedded in the Sports Act and Kenyan constitution.
The caucus, who are meeting at Nairobi’s Railways Club this afternoon also accuse the NEC of having diverted the club’s resources into member registration account to sign up biased members in their favour as some of them are seeking re-election. That compromises the voters register.
The NEC is also accused of appointing an unlawful Electoral Management Group (EMG) as three out of five members were not properly nominated as provided for in the constitution.
The Caucus also accused the NEC of colluding with the illegitimate EMG to come up with punitive and unrealistic nomination rules to lock out well-meaning candidates willing to vie for various offices.
The rule, for instance set nomination fees for chairmanship and secretary general at Sh300,000 and Sh200,000 respectively. The non-refundable exorbitant fees have to be paid by aspirants on picking nomination forms, and before vetting by the EMG. That means that aspirants could be vetted out by the EMG and lose their nomination fees.
The rules also require aspirants to present more than five clearance certificates from various bodies including CRB and EACC.