Cabinet Secretary for Sports Hassan Wario has directed the office of the Registrar for Sports to monitor the forthcoming National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and Athletics Kenya (AK) elections.
Wario wants Sports Registrar Mary Wasike to ensure that the polls are free and fair.
He said both organisations were very important in the sporting industry in Kenya since NOCK was the umbrella body of sports federation whereas AK is the goose that lays the golden egg.
“There’s need to ensure that the polls are free and fair so that credible leaders are voted in fairly by ensuring that the people’s will prevails,” he said.
The Olympics umbrella body will hold its polls on May 5 while the local athletics governing body’s elections are on May 13.
Wario said the polls are under scrutiny and closely being watched by their parent international governing bodies where Kenya risk sanctions if the elections are not transparent, free and fair.
He said his directive should not be mistaken for interference as it’s in the government’s interest to have fairplay prevail adding that they didn’t have a preferred candidate.
The NOCK elections will be overseen by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) where the prospective candidates are picking their nomination papers from.
The AK elections will commence on April 27 at the ward level, proceed to the sub-counties on May 2 then to counties on May 6, regional/branch on May 9 before culminating with election of national officials on May 13.
At NOCK, legendary Kipchoge Keino will be defending his presidency and is expected to get the stiffest opposition ever from five-times World Cross Country champion Paul Tergat.
The AK elections will be held for the first time in 24 years without the departed athletics supremo Isaiah Kiplagat who during his reign wielded a lot influence to determine the office bearers.
Kiplagat’s deputy then, Jackson Tuwei, and who ascended to power after Kiplagat was suspended by the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2015, will be seeking to get a fresh term as the AK chief where so far no other individual has expressed interest.
Wario also warned federations which have not complied with Sports Act of de-registration and ordered the Sports Registrar to crack the whip.
“There are no sacred cows in sports and for those who do not comply with Sports Act, which is the law should not be spared,” he warned.
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