Winnie Odinga denies role in ‘missing’ Gor Mahia social media accounts
An internal battle is brewing within the management of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants Gor Mahia FC after it emerged that social media accounts affiliated to the club had allegedly been sold.
A quick search for Gor Mahia FC on Facebook reveals that the page with over 300,000 Followers had been renamed ‘Love Kenya.’
Sources have since revealed that Gor Mahia — the 17-time KPL winners — do not own any of the social media accounts in their name and are instead run independently by a group of individuals on behalf of the club.
In a leaked phone call, two high ranking Gor Mahia officials can be heard bickering over claims that Raila Odinga’s daughter, Winnie Odinga, attempted to take over the social media accounts following her alleged appointment to head the club’s Media and Publicity Department.
One official can heard lashing out at another official accusing him of having sent Ms. Odinga to get a quotation for the social media accounts.
“We’re not just going to let those things go, not even because I’m an official, but also as a fan who has the best interests of the club at heart… I’m not going to let those things go simply because she (Winnie) is Odinga’s daughter,” says the official.
“The simplest thing is if they have the capacity, we can shut down and then let them start from scratch.”
It is believed that the Gor Mahia social media accounts went dark a while after this phone call and the Facebook account resurfaced under a different name.
However, speaking exclusively to Citizen Digital Monday morning, Winnie Odinga rubbished claims that she was appointed to any position at the club, further stating that she was not involved in any attempted take-over of the said social media accounts.
“These guys are just having their own wars and I don’t know why they’re bringing me into it. First of all, let me just make my position extremely clear, I am not the Communications person for Gor Mahia… I never have been,” stated Ms. Odinga.
According to Ms. Odinga, she brought in a beverage/alcohol manufacturer to sponsor the club’s communication, and that her team was allowed access to the Gor Mahia FC Facebook account for about two weeks after which they were locked out following disagreements.
“We’ve been out of the social media handles for two or three months now. Since then, the club had the issue with the players sleeping on the benches and things like that… and the sponsor felt like that was not a brand they wanted to be associated with at that time,” she said.
“About pages going down, I don’t know. There’s a guy called KGM, never met or spoken to him. They’re having internal wars and trying to fix me into it.”
While responding to a question on whether she indeed sent an official to get a quotation from ‘KGM’ for the social media accounts, Ms. Odinga says “never,” adding that “is that even a normal thing?”
On reports that club Chairman Ambrose Rachier appointed her to head the Media and Publicity department, she firmly denied saying “you can’t just walk into an office and be appointed, doesn’t matter who you are. It’s a club, not someone’s personal bedroom.”
“Even if I was appointed in that manner, I’d completely refuse, that’s cronyism. I had also specifically told the club that I never wanted to see a cheque written in the name of Winnie Odinga because I was not doing it for any payment.”