Executive Committee members of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) have been stripped of their voting power in elections in a draft constitution approved today at a consultative meeting monday, 16.01.17, in Nairobi.
This will make it far harder for incumbents, including the NOCK President Kipchoge Keino, to maintain their grip on power at elections expected to take place in March.
The constitutional draft has now been sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for approval before being officially finalised.
Under the previous system, all 13 Executive Committee members held one vote each.
If, as they invariably did, this gave them a huge head start in a vote in which 21 national governing bodies also participated.
Clause 13.2.3 of the proposed constitution reads that members of the Executive Committee shall have “no voting rights [subject to ratification by the General Assembly]”.
All Federations representing sports on the Olympic Games will hold one vote each.
A proposal for Commonwealth Games sports to also have votes was approved, but will not come into operation until after the elections.
“We felt that it was not fair to grant other members a special status as we are all equal,” NOCK first vice-chairman Ben Ekumbo was reported as saying by Capital FM after today’s meeting.
Athlete and female representatives will also now be added to the Executive Committee.
Photo: Athletics legend Kipchoge Keino will face a much tougher task to be re-elected President of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya if the proposed statutes are passed.
An initial deadline in December to finalise the constitution was missed by the NOCK.
The IOC admitted it was “extremely regrettable” that no substantial progress had been made within the warring organisation so far when providing them with the new time frame.
It is now hoped elections will be held before or on March 31.
Every senior NOCK official except for Keino was arrested after Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario disbanded the organisation in August following a catalogue of problems during that month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Officials were accused of key accommodation and travel mishaps in the Brazilian city, including the “mishandling of accreditation”, as well as kits which allegedly never reached athletes.
Divisions between the old guard and a reforming bloc.
Divisions between the old guard and a reforming bloc led by Andrew Mudibo (photo over), the interim secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya Affiliated Federations, have since emerged.
Keino, a four-time Olympic medallist, including golds in the 1500 metres at Mexico City 1968 and 3,000m steeplechase at Munich 1972, has been President of NOCK since 1999.
He appears to have accepted that he is unlikely to retain power under the new constitution.
“We shall have to consult the Olympics Charter,” he told the television station Citizen TV last week.
“If that’s true then I shall go home and retire into farming,
“I did the best I could for the country.”