The much awaited KFF/FKL elections are over. The elections which were finally held after being postponed for a year were finally held on Saturday Oct 29. Out goes the much loathed group led by Mohammed Hatimy, Titus Kasuve and Erastus Okul who have been in charge of local football for 7 years and overseen what is probably the worst era in Kenya football. An era that has seen Kenya slide to the ignominy of being ranked 135th in the world and loosing to minnows like Eritrea at home while being beaten Guinea Bissau and soundly beaten by war torn Somalia among others.
In comes a new group led by Sam Nyamweya and former Tusker striker Sammy Tiyoi Sholei. They will now be in charge for football for the next 5 years. Nywamweya won the chairmanship by winning 1461 votes, 278 ahead of fan favorite Hussein Mohammed. Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier, who was fronted by KPL clubs faired badly winning a paltry 333 votes. That is not a surpise to anyone. Most Kenyans really wanted Hussein Mohammed to win. His exemplary record in developing grassroots football is well known. His keen sense of fashion and personality would have soon swung sponsors in the direction of Kenya football as opposed to the much loathed Sam Nyanweya who has been behind many of the problems Kenya football faces.
That Nyamweya won despite being immensely unpopular amongst the Kenyan public due to his incompetence is an indictment of Kenya as a republic. It shows that in Kenya vested interests far outweigh doing the right thing. But Nyamweya has been in charge of the KFF faction for the last 4 years. And since a significant chunk of the voters were representing KFF “clubs” and “branches”, it is no surprise that Nyamweya won. All the KFF affiliated voters likely voted for Nyamweya out of self interest rather than national interest.
The other aspect of Nyamweya’s victory is the fact that by controlling KFF, he had a vast network of contacts on the ground whom he constantly networked with. Hussein Mohammed on the other hand campaigned in the media and used social networks like twitter. This method cannot work when the election is determined by a small number of delegates. A harsh lesson Hussein has learned.
Many pro reform people in the blogosphere are now blaming Ambrose Rachier for playing the spoiler role. In their mind, Rachier split the pro-reform vote and handed Nyamweya a win. A closer look however reveals that KPL clubs are as much to blame. This column said back then that KPL should have thrown their weight behind one of the pro-reform candidates instead of selfishly selecting one of their own who had very little chance. This lack of foresight amongst the KPL clubs is why we now find ourselves with a chairman who does not inspire the confidence of the Kenyan public or the private sector from whom sponsorship comes.
Former Kogalo midfielder, Fred Awich came nowhere close to winning winning only 29 votes, 7 ahead of Elizabeth Shako who if she was a man, might have won this election. Her development record at grassroots level is exemplary. If Awich wants to stand a chance he should go back to the drawing board and perform some grassroots work and aim lower next time. We wish Ms Shako all the best in the future. Kenya womens football needs selfless leaders like herself.
That is precisely what Kogalo fan favorite Dan Shikanda did. For once there was dood news for Kogalo fans c when Dan Shikanda, a former Kogalo winger during the early 90s when he was a crowd favorite was voted in as Chairman of the Nairobi branch. Shikanda is a brilliant man and genial personality. While playing in the league, he studied veterinary medicine at UoN. As a winger, Shikanda is one of the best dribblers ever to don the Kogalo jersey.
Another former Kogalo player Eric Obura missed out on an NEC position which was won by former Ingwe official Robert Asembo. Former Kogalo winger William Obwaka had earlier announced his intention to run for the chairmanship but pulled out when he realized there were already enough reform minded candidates.
What is gratifying however is the election of Sammy Sholei who seems genuinely reform minded. He was even willing to put aside his chairmanship aspirations to support Hussein Mohammed. One only wish others would have done this. Sholei will therefore be counted on by Kenyans long suffering fans to hold any excesses and corruption in check.
It is in the best interest of Gor Mahia and other KPL teams to have a fully functioning KFF, corruption free KFF. It could mean more money in the coffers of clubs as more sponsors pour in. It could also make it easier for Kogalo to raise cash by selling players to foreign teams.
Sam Nyamweya -1461
Hussein Mohammed – 1183
Mohammed Hattimy – 734
Ambrose Rachier – 333
Twaha Mbarak- 199
Sammy Obingo- 54
Fred Awich- 29
Winner- Sammy Tiyoi Sholei – 1383
Josephat Murila- 381
Hassan Omar- 1225
Noah Wanyama- 401
Titus Kasuve- 118