Leopards fans toast Mule’s historic election
A chant of ‘si uchawi ni maombi’ (its not witchcraft, its prayers) rang outside the Safaricom Indoor Arena as AFC Leopards’ new Chairman, Dan Mule was escorted to the podium to receive his certificate from the club’s Electoral Board.
“I want to thank all the branches and all the fans for coming out and voting, today football has won. I want to assure the fans that I will work with everyone,” he told the adoring crowd still celebrating his win.
“I want to thank IEBC and the Elections Board and I want the club to move forward together as a family,” the newly elected chairman added.
His speech was however, brief when he was whisked away to his car moments after he received the certificate vesting the mandate to run the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants for the next three years.
His double cabin pick-up truck felt the full wrath of his delirious supporters who boarded the vehicle from all angles, forcing a puncture but it did not hinder them from escorting their new leader outside the stadium.
On Monday once the euphoria subsided, Mule sent out a statement outlining his vision for the club following his remarkable triumph over Maurice Amahwa, Robert Asembo and Mathews Opwora.
“There are no winners and losers in this process and I wish to reaffirm my commitment to involving them in the decisions that we shall make forthwith in the management of the club.
“I have worked with them during the life of Interim Management Committee (IMC) where we have learnt a lot from each other. Do not view me as a competitor any more but a partner in the process in managing the club,” he declared in extending an olive branch to his challengers.
“The conclusion of the election is just a beginning of a rebirth of the club and I want to appeal to all stake holders, supporters to join hands together and ensure the club takes its rightful position in the football industry in the country and the region.
“We will ensure that all the promises we made during the campaigns are achieved and one of our major tasks will be to ensure that the club achieves the desired financial sustainability, requisite administrative structures and a football philosophy that will only match the football power houses in the region,” Mule who first ran for office unsuccessfully at the last elections in 2013 added.
“To my team that we have been elected together, I call upon you to work together regardless of which camp we belonged during the campaigns.”
“On behalf of the Kenyan FA and on my own behalf, I wish to congratulate Mr. Mule for being elected AFC Leopards Chairperson,” said Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa said in a statement.
“I also wish to not only congratulate all officials elected to serve in different capacities at the club but also wish them all well in their new roles,” Mwendwa added.
Renee Sitawa, who was part of the group of aggrieved fans that held a press conference last month protesting the postponement of the elections, welcomed the announcement.
“I’m so happy that Mule won; some ignorant people might be complaining that a Kamba has taken the seat but I’d like to look at Leopards as a national outfit,” the elated Donholm Branch Secretary General told Citizen Digital.
“I’m more excited by the fact that we are going to have a functional office that isn’t composed of IMC officials which will be answerable to us, the fans. Right now we can even hold an Annual General Meeting which wouldn’t have been the case a few weeks ago,” she added.
Monica Ngere, Deputy Secretary General of the club’s Facebook Branch, was pleased at how the national electoral polls body conducted the process but was taken aback by some of the candidates refusing to accept defeat.
“I’m worried that we are not through with this whole going to court tendency. After the results were announced I noticed that one of the candidates refused to sign that he had conceded defeat and he threatened to take legal action,” explained the fan known in the Den as ‘Binti’.
“Why take us through that process all over again, it’s unfair. If they are real Ingwe fans like they want us to believe then one should respect the opinion of the greater majority who have stood up and chosen their preferred candidates,” she reiterated.
Earlier on, a group of Leopards faithful adorned in their revered white and blue jersey turned to song and dance to entertain themselves after voting their choices as they waited the tallying process to conclude.
Led by their most famous fan; Isaac Juma and Isikuti drums in tow, the procession took turns in leading the group in going through the full repertoire of tunes in praise of the team to drown the anxiety of the climax of the elections.
“I’ve travelled all the way from Nakuru to cast my vote and I want my club to go back to the days when we were a force to reckon with in African football. If you come to my house everything is in blue and white as a sign of my love for this team,” the self-styled Ingwe number one supporter declared.