Embattled National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOCK) has set September 29 as the date for fresh polls with retired distance running icon, Paul Tergat, who looked set to ascend to the chairmanship unopposed, facing a new challenger.
The local Olympic body, that is under pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reform and clean house, met in Nairobi on Tuesday to thrash out the schedule for new polls after the initial exercise on May 5 was stopped by a court order, reports Xinhua news agency.
Tergat, who officially launched his bid for the NOCK top seat in April, was set to become the successor to long-serving and retired Kenyan athletics legend, Kipchoge Keino, had the Elective Assembly gone on as early scheduled.
However, Xinhua understands the chairman of Kenya Volleyball Federation, Waithaka Kioni, is being fronted to challenge the two-time Olympic men’s 10,000m silver medallist for the top seat by the tainted outgoing NOCK administration.
This is due to the fact that some in the incumbency, with the support of dissenting voices among affiliate member federations, feel that the ‘Team Change’ line-up announced by Tergat has some individuals of dubious integrity.
“He comes around as a man who promised to bring change. The major undoing is that there is baggage in his team. He should not impose some questionable characters in his team,” said a source who spoke in anonymity to a local website.
“He should have let people choose their preferred candidates. As things stand, he will not get it easy himself,” the informant added.
Tergat named Kenya Judo Association President, Shadrack Maluki and Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei as his choices for first and second vice-chairmen.
Kenya Table Tennis Association boss, Andrew Mudibo, was designated for the powerful Secretary General post in what is said to have sparked the row within the affiliate federations’ ranks with Tennis Kenya Vice-president, Francis Mutuku, identified as his deputy.
Kenya Hockey Union Vice-president and former local sports broadcaster, Elynah Shiveka, was given the plum Treasurer’s slot with Boxing Association of Kenya President, John Kameta as her designated deputy.
KVF boss Kioni is said to be in the frame to challenge Tergat after being put forward by forces driven by the outgoing incumbency that was swept out of power in the flush out on the Olympic body following the Rio 2016 Olympic fiasco as a candidate for the presidency.
IOC, where Tergat serves as a Member, ordered reforms and new elections for NOCK when four of its senior officials were charged with theft of money and kit meant for Team Kenya at Rio Olympics in a scandal that dirtied a record performance where the country won six gold, six silver and a bronze.