Masika to lead nine-member Leopards Electoral Board

A nine-member Electoral Board chaired by advocate Elijah Masika was appointed by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) on Thursday to conduct the 2016 elections of SportPesa Premier League giants, AFC Leopards .

The names were published in a statement signed by Sports Tribunal chairman, John Ohaga and it came from a directive from the disputes resolution body made on December 23, 2015 when the club faced a leadership crisis.

Irene Tindi, who was the secretary of the Football Kenya Federation-Electoral Board that organised the governing body’s polls in February, is also part of the Ingwe team that was appointed following consultations with all stakeholders.

Advocates John Kariuki Njuguna and Duncan Mutsotso Anzala; Morris Paul Omuyonga Aluanga, Lilian Nzile, Wahome Gichu, Wycliffe Omuchenya and Bukachi Ordiah are the other listed members of Ingwe’s polls body.

The Sports Tribunal endorsed the nominees paving way for Board to start the process of organising the club’s election.

“The Interim Management Committee (IMC) shall constitute an all-inclusive committee/board which will be chaired by a neutral person (one not involved in current or previous AFC Leopards disputes) qualified to hold office as a Judge of the High Court of Kenya conversant with matters of sports,” Tribunal chairman, John Ohaga wrote in a statement sent to newsrooms.

“The decision by IMC further stipulated that the committee/board shall be responsible for the preparation of an all-inclusive election process of AFC from grassroots to national level; vetting of all applicants for any level of leadership in AFC and set the rules inclusive of dispute resolution mechanisms in the election process,” he added.

“The Sports Disputes Tribunal continues to work with all stakeholders to ensure proper governance in sports,” Ohaga declared.

Leadership wrangles at Ingwe were sparked on May 27, 2015 when elected chairman, Allan Kasavuli resigned leaving one of his predecessors and Speaker of the County Assembly of Nairobi, Alex Ole Magelo as the interim leader.

Magelo’s takeover was short-lived and soon, two camps allied to Matthews Opwora and former vice-chairman, Walter Onyino who was appointed interim chair in June emerged to viciously fight for the control of the 13-time domestic champions.

Opwora and his group exploited the loophole by the current and the immediate previous office holders’ failure to register the club as per the requirements of the Sports Act and in September, a letter from Cabinet Secretary; Dr. Hassan Wario recognised his team as legitimate office holders.

Maurice Osundwa (secretary general), Noah Wanyama (organising secretary), Maurice Milimo (deputy chairman), Suleiman Angulu (deputy secretary general), Okiya Dindi (treasurer), Carolyne Mayunzu (deputy treasurer) and Nancy Murata (committee member) were in the Opwora group.

In the same month, Onyino also quit as interim chair citing ‘club politics’ and in his place, came the vibrant Embakasi Branch boss, Dan Mule to the helm.

In December, Mule and Opwora took their dispute before the Tribunal and it was ruled both would be co-chairmen of the IMC as the steps to organise joint elections were outlined.

On March 14, Mule accused his co-chair of siphoning Ksh1.8m from the club’s coffers from the club’s account to refund rejected sponsors.

According to Mule who sent bank statements to Citizen Digital to prove his sensational allegations, Opwora and his cahoots withdrew the money from Ingwe’s account to pay back part of Betway’s 10 million shillings sponsorship money they had supposedly misappropriated once the cash from their new deal with SportsPesa was received.

The 13-time league champions had to refund the Betway’s cash when the Tribunal ruled in favour of SportsPesa when the betting rivals appeared before it to rule which company would be the title-sponsors of the domestic giants.

Mule, who has been more visible than his rival since, also accused members of Ohaga’s Tribunal of being part of the scam after signing off the transaction as trustees.