Kenya is now staring at a possible ban by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) used their numbers to shoot down a constitutional process that will delay NOC election by at least another month.
Prior to the Tuesday's meeting held in Nairobi, with only 23 days remaining on the calendar before March 31 deadline set by IOC for the country to have its polls, Kenya was surely racing against time to comply with the order by the Olympic regulators.
It was expected that positive strides would be made especially following last week's stalemate which charecterised the first meeting of a similar agenda before chairman Kipchoge Keino abruptly called it off to set the new date this week.
IOC, in a strong worded letter last week, orderd Kenya to hold its polls before the end of this month but that directive will not be adhered to after 13 Federations out of 32 voted against the change that would otherwise adopted new set of rules to pave way for the much awaited election. Two third majority (22 votes) were required to pass the draft constitution but only 19 affiliates voted in favour of the proposed draft, falling short by only four votes to sail through.
Kenya smeared itself with the stinking mud on the face following the embattled 2016 Rio Olympic Games which was rocked by scandals, a move which saw the government, through the Sports Cabinet Secretary, Hassan Wario jump in to difuse the situation by disolving NOCK last year.
The court later quashed the unconstitutional decision by Wario before reinstating the embattled officials back to office But the current office has since lost trust of most affiliates going by Tuesday's polls. With NOC executive having 11 votes, it means only two federations voted against the question on the table.
Federations are pushing for a change of the constitution which, had it been adopted, could have seen majority of the current office holders lost their positions.The current constitution gives the 11 NOC executives the right to vote in elections. But just like in the past, where they have used their block voting muscles to scuffle any attempt to bring change in to Kenya's biggest sports organisation, once again, the sitting executive ganged up to defeat the negotiated document and threw it out of the window to set the country, so much awashed with abundat talents but lacks proper leadership skills and sanity in sports management into the shadows of doubt as they await the next directive from IOC.
"We are not going against IOC directive because these people (affiliates) did not pass the constitution. So how are we going to have elections before the end of the month without a new law?" posed Keino, who put on a brave face in the interview with the Press after the stormy meeting.
Three NOC officials including Secretary General, F.K Paul, Chief de Mission to Rio Stephen Soi and Assistant Treasurer James Chacha have since been charged in court for mismanagement of resources. The office led by legendary Keino, Hall of Fame Inductee who was also awarded the 2016 Olympic Laurel in Brazil, used their numbers to scuffle the process. Despite 19 officials voting for 'YES', they could not attain the mandatory 22 votes to adopt the new law.
The stormy meeting was also charecterised by fist-fights after physically challenged female Paralympic official, Agnes Oluoch roughed up her Table Tennis Counterpart, Andrew Mudibo whom she accused of barring Para from taking part in the electoral process. Paralympics draws it membership from World Paralympics Committee and not IOC and therefore had no mandate to attend the meeting .
NOC's term is soon coming to an end in May this year but one clear thing though is that Kenya will only have new NOC officials, voted in under a new constitution.
"The way forward is to go back to the old constitution which was passed by Kenyans. We are going to continue working until the day we have an election" said the embattled former Olympic champion.
Keino who in 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico defeated the then world record holder, American Jim Ryun to win his last gold in 1500 with the biggest margin in the history of the games (20 meters) before haging his spikes, insisted that he is under no pressure but added that he will be traveling to Lausanne, Switzerland to seek further direction from IOC.
The affiliates have since threatened to take the matter to the Sports Dispute Tribunal to force changes to the current office. "We are going back to the drawing board," said Ellyna Shiveka of Kenya Hockey Union.
"We are going to meet as federations to see what to do. We are not ruling out taking the matter to the tribunal," added Shiveka who also sits at the Tribunal.
Her sentiments were quickly rubbished by Chacha: "I don't know the charges they will press on NOC but i dont think they have any specific grounds to go to tribunal."
"It is not the executive committee which shut down the constitution; it's the General Assembly. It was our wish to have the elections as soon as possible
"We have a constitution. We are not in a crisis. I don't see why IOC should ban us because we have a functioning office."
"If IOC did not ban us when all these issues started, I don't see why they should consider banning us now," said Chacha while quashing out fears that Kenya may be slapped with a ban by the Olympic mother body.
Mudibo accused NOC executive of voter briberry to shoot down the process.
"We can rightly say that we will fight for the rights of athletes who were mistreated in Rio.We know that there are people whom NOC were using, in terms of giving coaching scholarships so that they may be able to vote, where you bribe so that this document doesn't go through,"
"We will be comminicating to IOC board which will be holding a meeging on March 16/17 and at the same time look at the legal means to a dress the matter locally," added Mudibo.