NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The International Olympic Committee
(IOC) instructed its Kenyan affiliate to hold fresh elections under
a new constitution by Dec. 31.
This edict was issued after
a tripartite meeting between the IOC, the National Olympic Committee
of Kenya (NOCK) and the government led by the Cabinet Secretary for
Sports, Hassan Wario held in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The meeting was convened in the wake of Wario’s disbandment of
NOCK after a series of fiascos that visited the Kenyan organization
after the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The IOC ordered NOCK to hold the impending elections under a new
constitution, perhaps fully aware of the skewed playing field that
favored the incumbents over their opponents, which was also
witnessed during NOCK’s last elections held on May 28, 2013.
Also contentious has been some clauses the Olympic chiefs used to
gag dissenting voices and pay themselves honorarium.
The organization holds its elections every four years to give a
fresh mandate to a new office to steer it.
However, NOCK has in the past been accused as operating an
"impenetrable cartel", with some even calling it a fraud.
During the last elections, Kipchoge Keino, 76, was re-elected as
the chairman of NOCK after he earned 21 votes to beat former
vice-president Alfred Khangati who garnered 10 votes.
Perhaps the biggest shock of the elections came when former
Athletics Kenya President, Isaiah Kiplagat, was defeated to the NOCK
vice-presidency by the chairman of Kenya Swimming Federation, Ben
Ekumbo by 24-3 votes.
In similar circumstances, former Football Kenya Federation (FKF)
boss Sam Nyamweya pulled out of the race for second vice-president,
calling the election "a sham" and left his only rival, the chairman
of the Kenya Weightlifting Association, Pius Ochieng, to win the
This left NOCK to operate without members from athletics and
football, two disciplines with giant following in the country.
Nine members of the NOCK board regained their positions, although
three officials - former first vice chairman Peter Nderitu, second
vice chairman David Okeyo and committee member John Roberts - did
not seek re-election.
Francis Paul was elected unopposed as secretary general and
Fridah Shiroya held on to her seat as treasurer.
Most would-be contestants find it a waste of time trying to
challenge the incumbents, while those who do so always know the tall
order lined against them.
NOCK has 31 votes to be cast when electing 13 officials of the
The incumbent executive committee officials who are also
contestants themselves hold a vote each.
Therefore the 13 officials of NOCK have formed a voting cartel
where they vote for each other, thus starting ahead of their rivals
by 13 votes.
The remaining 18 votes are cast by delegates seconded to the
affiliate federations, who hold one vote each.
Interestingly, most of NOCK’s executive committee are also senior
officials of the affiliate federations hence every delegate from the
affiliate is manipulated to vote for their seniors on the executive
For example, NOCK’s Secretary General Francis Paul, who initially
came to the executive courtesy of a nomination by the Kenya Handball
Association, is assured of a vote from the delegate of the
association during the electoral process.
The delegate would then vote for Paul’s group.
With such alliance and cronies making up the voting machine, each
member of the executive committee is guaranteed a whopping 20 votes
at any given election.
The remaining nine, though not necessary at this point, are easy
Owing to this process, all the incumbents retained their seats
with very wide margins.
Besides benefiting from a faulty electoral process, NOCK
officials have in the past also been accused of having taken
advantage of another clause in the constitution to get their
For example, in 1995, in view of the budget presented before the
General Assembly, the 13 officials allocated themselves 28,000 U.S.
dollars shillings and disbursed only 16,000 dollars to the affiliate
associations for development of sports.
This allocation was made courtesy of a rule in NOCK’s
constitution which reads thus: "the executive shall have powers to
pay any member or official such honorarium as it may from time to
time deem necessary or appropriate."
To make sure their activities are kept safe, the constitution
invokes a very intimidating confidentiality clause under rule 26.1
"without prejudice to his rights or duties, each member
shall treat all information relating to any member, the Committee or
Executive Committee as strictly confidential and shall not
communicate such information to any person, authority or
In the event of violation of the confidentiality clause, the
Executive Committee has powers to punish a member as it deems fit.
NOCK was created in 1955 and recognized by the IOC that same year.